As Spain prepare for a couple of showpiece friendly games, Marcos Alonso has spoken about what it felt like to receive his first international call-up...
Our left wing-back’s fine form at club level has been recognised by Julen Lopetegui, the Spanish national team boss who has worked with Alonso before at Real Madrid.
Alonso will be hoping to follow in his father and grandfather’s footsteps by representing his country over the next week, with La Roja set for fixtures against Germany and Argentina. He detailed the moment he found out he had received his maiden selection.
‘I was really excited,’ Alonso said. ‘I was training and on my way to the locker room when my team-mates congratulated me, and I received loads of messages.
‘My job was to do things well at Chelsea and focus on the team's aims. This call-up is a surprise and a reward to the hard work these past years.
‘What's important now is that I'm here. I am focused on the friendlies and adapting to the team. I can't wait to train and give my bit.’
Alonso revealed his father, also called Marcos, found out about the call-up before he did. Marcos Senior played over 20 times for Spain in the 1980s, and now our man has the chance to showcase his talents on the international stage.
‘I take it as a chance. The head coach knows me well from the Castilla [Real Madrid’s reserves]. It's a chance to show myself and adapt quickly to the team, in order for them to count on me more times.
‘They're two very important matches to prepare for what's to come. They're nice games, against the world champions and the runner-up, special for any player.’
Alonso is joined in the Spain squad by Cesar Azpilicueta but not Alvaro Morata, and the expressed his wish for his Chelsea team-mate to get the nod for the tournament in Russia later this year.
‘He's had a couple of difficult months because of a back problem. He's now 100 per cent, the other day he returned to scoring. He's very important and I hope he is in the World Cup.’