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Barcelona youngster Munir caught off guard by Spain national team call-up


Munir El Haddadi let reporters know that he was very surprised to see his name on the Spain international team’s roster, in place of injured Chelsea forward Diego Costa.

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque released roster ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifier with Macedonia, and the 19-year-old was there.

“When they told me, my mouth fell open. It’s a dream to play for the Spain team and I’m very happy,” Munir said per “I’ve realized a dream. It’s a moment I want to enjoy, an opportunity to take, and to give my best.”

El Haddadi was a product of the Barcelona youth academy, as he played on the squad for three years, starting in 2011, until his switch to Barcelona B this season. And the 19-year-old has continued to push for excellence, with his La Liga debut having occurred as a substitute on August 24 vs. Elche CF. He’s totatled four goals in 11 appearances in the midst of his short Barcelona B stretch, and also netted a score during the Elche game to cement a 3-0 win.

Looking ahead to a possible long national team career, El Haddadi relishes every opportunity he gets right now. He realizes it’s a honor to play for such a prominent country in world football, and he certainly wishes to perform at Euro 2016.

“Every trophy you can win is good and to be there would be a hugely proud moment, to play with the Spain team is what I would like to do,” he added. “I’ve followed the national team every summer that they have played since I was small, and now I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me at every turn.”