Cesc Fabregas holds only two unhappy memories from his 101 Spain caps – the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and a 2006 defeat to Sweden.
Fabregas has been interviewed by Marca and, as well as sharing his thoughts on the Paris terror attacks, discussed football issues, starting with the national team.
“It’s been 10 years already. I’m sure if you ask the fans about who has played 100 games, not many of them will think of me,” the Chelsea midfielder suggested.
“There are a lot of games, a lot of call-ups and a lot of trophies as well. I was happy from the first day I arrived here and I still am.
“I only remember to difficult moments: the World Cup in Brazil and a defeat against Sweden in 2006 with Luis Aragones.
“These were the two lowest moments, but all the rest has been great. That’s the truth, how I really feel.
“Maybe this is the time I’m more regularly in the XI. Before I was in, out, in, out…now I have played more regularly. I think I’ve had six or seven games as a starter and that gives confidence and helps a lot mentally.”
Euro 2016 is La Roja’s next competitive challenge and Fabregas, a veteran of victories in Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, believes there’s a lot of reason to be positive next summer.
“There are young players coming at a high level and veterans…well, we’re not that old,” he considered.
“We’ve lived the good and the bad and we have to help the present and the future of the team so it is like it’s been the last seven of eight years.
“I’ll be here until they tell me that’s enough. If there’s a Coach who doesn’t want me, I’ll be the one who says I have come here enough.
“You have to feel important with the national team. I don’t like the players who aren’t called and keep waiting for that call and don’t retire. If I reach that point I’ll say my time in the national team has finished.”
Fabregas added that he is unaware of the nature of Vicente Del Bosque’s long-term plans, and revealed the time he lost his temper with the trainer.
“I know nothing. Vicente is as he is, discreet. I hope he decides what’s best for his family,” he said of Del Bosque’s rumoured retirement post Euro 2016.
“There’s no doubt I want him in the job. He’s formed a group that has won trophies, and he knows how to lead this group. In the moments of euphoria he reassures us, makes sure we’re self-critical, and when we’re down he lifts us up.
“Typically, I got angry when I didn’t play. Every football feels disgust or anger that ends when they step on the grass. When I’m on the pitch, it’s passed.
“It’s true there was an episode in Brazil where we had differences but when there are two people who share esteem and appreciation, it can be resolved. You can talk, with confidence and calmness.
“In that episode I was wrong. I didn’t behave well and I admit it. I talked to him afterwards and told him I would to do whatever it takes, and so it proved.”