Spain forward Pedro Rodriguez admits he feared missing out on Euro 2016 after Chelsea’s disappointing season.
Pedro has been a mainstay in the Spain squad since the 2010 World Cup, with three major trophies and 17 goals in 56 caps to his name, but his struggles with Chelsea last season prompted doubts over his involvement in France.
“We’ve reached [the Euros] in good form, I see many teammates who have arrived after very good seasons in terms of trophies,” the former Barcelona man told Marca.
“We have the mentality and desire to do something big again, despite knowing that it will be difficult.
“I don’t think [the Georgia defeat changes anything]. We didn’t play well, but the work we’ve done hasn’t been undone by a bad game.
“What we have to do is to correct what wasn’t done right and follow the path we’ve traced.
“The team are raring to go, training with intensity, a good attitude and ambition. We look forward to repeating our feats.
“If we’re at our usual level, we’re a very difficult team to beat. If we don’t things right or we’re not focused, any team can make us suffer because they’re all well-prepared.
“Andres [Iniesta], for example, always shows that he wants more, to create more and more in terms of what he can contribute to the team.
“This is evident in every training session. He just wants to win. When a player has this winning dynamic, what you want is for them to keep [this dynamic] for as long as possible.
“It always costs us a lot to overcome, which is not permanent, and when you have a great team want to keep doing it.
“[On the prospect of three straight European Championships], it’s unique and a challenge to make it happen.
“[On the likes of Nolito, Aritz Aduriz and Lucas Vazquez changing Spain’s style], the style doesn’t change, but the new players have arrived with a lot of freshness, wanting to contribute.
“That gives options to the Coach and is very good. Our style to play is one that is very determined and strong.
“[On the Brussels terror attacks in March], they were strange and we weren’t in our best way, but we’ve arrived [in France] safely, with spark, and the team are working hard and very psyched.
“[On being near Spain’s top 10 goalscorers], it shows that things have gone well here and I’m happy to continue helping.
“The old favourites are Germany, France, England and Italy, but at a Euros anything can happen. There’s also Belgium and Croatia, the latter of whom are a great team, and teams that, like at the World Cup, aren’t considered [favourites] and go far.
“Some very good players left out and it’s a pity, but the final word is that of the Coach and we’re with him.
“I knew [being left out] was a possibility. I was comfortable in the group and didn’t want to think [about that outcome], but it was a possibility.
“I can’t imagine [life after Vicente del Bosque] He’s been in the national team for a long time, with great results.
“I’m not contemplating the arrival of another Coach, but if it happens, I’m sure there will be many changes. Do I think I’ll stay? If I keep doing well then I should be able to continue.
“Obviously [we are concerned about our safety]. You’re uncertain, afraid that something might happen to family members, fans, anyone.
“You see the situation is very dangerous and that controlling it is difficult. Hopefully, nothing happens.”