Iturraspe: Spain call-up 'superb reward'
By Football News
Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe said he was pleased to be recognised with selection in Spain's 30-man World Cup squad.
Vicente Del Bosque's preliminary squad will be cut to 23, but Iturraspe - who is born and bred in Spain's Basque region - was simply thrilled to be among the group in the mix to represent the World Cup holders in Brazil.
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara looks set to be one of those players to be cut after his club claimed he suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury.
"Seven players have to fall by the wayside, six now perhaps, after the news about Thiago," Iturraspe said.
"It's very difficult because there's players in there who are practically consecrated, along with top level youngsters. Just being on the list is an important recognition in itself.
"Once you're on that list of thirty, why shouldn't you think you can go, if the chances are there.
"It's a superb reward for everyone and also for me.
"For a player, getting the chance to go to a World Cup is the highest aspiration. Now we'll have to wait until the 25th may, then we'll see."
Iturraspe conceded his selection in the Spanish squad would see greater interest from clubs trying to lure his services away from the San Mames.
However, the 25-year-old said he was happy in Bilbao.
"When you get yourself in a list like this, it's only natural for rumours to start flying around," he said.
"After all, this team are champions of the world.
"I'm not worrying about them (rumours), I'm fine where I am.
"I've spent my whole career at Athletic Club Bilbao, I've a €40million clause in my contract and I want to stay here for as many years as I can."