Hector Bellerín has told UEFA that he would not have believed it possible that he would be at the Euros and that he found out he was included in the provisional squad through a relative who saw it on TV.
Called into the squad proper after Dani Carvajal picked up an injury in the Champions League final that ruled him out of the tournament, Bellerín is sure to impress for his country as he has done for Arsenal.
“I was about to head off on holiday for the summer when one of my family phoned me,” he told UEFA.com.
“They told me that Vicente del Bosque had announced in a press conference that I’d be training with the group. To be with a provisional squad, instead of on vacation, was already a massive honour.
“But after the misfortune Dani Carvajal had in the Champions League final, the boss said that I’d be his replacement … Well, if you’d asked me a few weeks ago if this were possible I’d not have believed you.”
Spain kick off their Euros on Monday against the Czech Republic where Hector will face some familiar faces.
“Petr, for us at Arsenal, is one of the most immense pluses we could have had this season, and he’s got the Premier League record for clean sheets,” Bellerín continued.
“He makes you feel safer with him behind you. He’ll be as important for the Czech Republic. Perhaps he’s the best goalie I’ve ever seen and he’s helped me grow in experience by chatting to me and sharing things in Spanish.
“Tomáš is one of the most intelligent players around, but because of his injuries people underestimate him. But his intelligence, his ability to find space and his crossing definitely make him one of the players we have to fear.
“Rosický orchestrates the midfield and he’s a great player who’s quick on the ball and really clever, so we know we have to be very wary of him.”
As UEFA point out, after John Jensen won the tournament for Denmark in 1992 despite thinking that, like Hector, he’d be on holiday instead of playing. Who knows what the youngster might pull off France!