Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz is “delighted and extremely grateful” for the latest Spain recall of his evergreen career.
The 35-year-old featured for La Roja at Euro 2016 but was not selected for the first two squads on the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign as Julen Lopetegui looked to usher in a new era.
But Aduriz’s form for Athletic, including a remarkable five-goal haul in last week’s 5-3 Europa League victory over Genk has seen the veteran force his way back into the reckoning.
He could have a role to play in Saturday’s Group G match against Macedonia after Diego Costa withdrew from the squad through injury on Thursday.
“After the Euros there has been a change and it is normal to go making plans looking to year ahead,” he told a news conference.
“I honestly did not expect [to get picked] or not to, just to work for my team the best I know and from there does not depend on me.
“I am delighted and extremely grateful to return and happy to be with the best to try to help.”
After taking on Macedonia, Spain will face England in a friendly at Wembley – an occasion Aduriz is relishing being a part of.
“For me it is a stadium we have mythologised, a temple in England,” he added.
“Being able to enjoy a game there is a real treat and it is a wonder that we can enjoy it.”