Nacho Monreal believes playing for a team of Arsenal’s stature should, on paper, help him get selected for Spain’s World Cup squad although the left-back admits he’s not playing as much as he’d like at the Emirates.
Moving from Malaga in January, the 27-year-old made a commendable ten starts for the Gunners last term only to start this season as back-up to Kieran Gibbs after commitments at the Confederations Cup meant he missed Arsenal’s pre-season preparations.
Predominantly deployed by Arsene Wenger as an auxiliary left winger to tighten up games off the bench, Monreal stressed that he’ll continue working hard in the hope of representing his country in Brazil.
“I think so,” he told Marca when asked if being in the Premier League presented more opportunities to play for Spain.
“At Malaga I improved a lot as a player in a year and a half. The move to the Premier League represented a step up in quality and I jumped at it. I think being part of a team like Arsenal helps.
“I am aware that it will not be easy [to get selected by Vicente del Bosque], partly because I’m not getting the minutes I want at Arsenal. I’ll continue fighting and working though because I really want to go to the World Cup.”
Monreal is joined in the Spanish squad during the interlull by Santi Cazorla as the reigning world champions take on South Africa and, somewhat controversially, Equatorial Guinea.
Looking forward to the chance to play in Brazil, midfielder Cazorla admitted that he was driven by a desire to put right his absence from the squad which secured the World Cup in 2010.
“World Cup 2014 has an extra meaning for me,” he told Arsenal Player.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t play in 2010 due to a back injury.
“Spain ended up lifting the trophy and not being part of that is still at the back of my mind. There’s nothing like playing in the World Cup and representing your country. I hope I can experience that and I hope the Spanish national team can bring a bit of happiness to the country.
“Spain is going through a difficult period and football is way of escape for many Spaniards. I hope we can bring home the trophy.”