Spain and FC Barcelona’s young sensation Munir El Haddadi has been criticized for not choosing to play for Morocco, but he claimed that it is his childhood dream to play for La Roja.
Spain comfortably beat Macedonia by 5-1 in the opening game of the qualifying round of Euro 2016. The Barcelona youngster made his international debut when he came on as a substitute in the second half.
Munir has enjoyed a sensational start to 2014-15 season as part of FC Barcelona and he already has a goal to his name for Blaugrana. He was handed his international debut with 13 minutes left.
“I never doubted about playing for Spain,” said Munir. “I was born here and I am very happy to have made my debut.
“To play for Spain was my own decision. I knew what it meant [that it ruled out a future Morocco appearance] to appear for Spain. This is a childhood dream come true.” Munir was speaking to Spanish website Teledeporte.
Earlier, Morocco coach Badou Ezzaki had criticized Munir El Haddadi for not opting to represent the country of his ancestors at the international level, saying “patriotism is not something to negotiate”. But Munir has now made it clear that his loyalties are with the country of his birth.
Meanwhile, Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque started the game against Macedonia with another youngster, Paco Alcacer, and he made his first international goal in the 17th minute of the game. And he was very excited after scoring the goal in front of his home crowd at Valencia.
“I am very happy with the game. To play here on Levante’s pitch in Valencia, my home, and to top it with a goal and a victory, is wonderful,” Alcacer was speaking to Spanish newspaper AS.
“This team has a lot of quality and it was only a matter of time [before a big win was recorded] with good play and goals.
“There are players with a lot of quality and that has been demonstrated.”
Alcacer dedicated his first goal to his late father. He said: “Of course this is for my father. I remember him every day. He’s always with me and I dedicate this important goal.”
As part of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Spain now face two away trips to Slovakia and Luxembourg in the second week of October. And both the youngsters, Munir and Alcacer, are likely to maintain their place in the squad for those two games.
Image courtesy: FC Barcelona Official Website