Nolito admitted Celta Vigo have their work cut out as they prepare to face the “best players in the world” when his former team Barcelona come to town in La Liga on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old forward was linked with a return to his old club throughout the off-season but ultimately stayed with Celta, with whom he has spent the previous two campaigns.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Luis Enrique’s Barca at Balaidos, Nolito acknowledged they are facing a significant obstacle.
“I don’t know if something changed, but it is clear Barcelona won everything during [Pep] Guardiola’s era and having Luis Enrique last season they also won three trophies,” the former Benfica man told Omnisport.
“It has been a different style, maybe more direct. It is not all about passes but at the end of the day what is really important are titles.
“Luis Enrique has the best squad in the world and the best players in the world too. Barcelona is Barcelona and Celta is Celta. One is fighting to win La Liga, the Champions League and everything else, and the other is fighting to not be relegated.”
Barca have won all four of their opening La Liga fixtures, while Celta, who finished eighth last season, have also made an impressive start – picking up 10 points from the same number of games.
Nolito has been key to the excellent form of Eduardo Berizzo’s side and is hoping his performances will be rewarded with selection in Spain’s final squad for Euro 2016 in France next summer.
“Well, honestly I have always dreamt, I dream and I will dream,” he said. “I am looking forward to being at the Euros.
“I will try it. I will do my best this season in order to help Celta to finish as high as possible. And if I am lucky enough to be in France, just great.
“[Vicente] Del Bosque has not said anything to me. But I just keep going with my work – that is helping Celta and being fit.
“I will play my best football and hope to be part of the final squad, something that would be a dream. So I will try until the very end.”
Nolito made his Spain debut against Germany in November 2014 and picked up his second cap against Costa Rica in June this year.