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Debutant Callejon looking to prove himself with Spain

12 November 2014, 16:28

Madrid - Jose Callejon has been in fine form for his club Napoli this season and the Spanish forward may now get a chance to prove he has what it takes to make a successful transition to the international arena.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque included Callejon in the European champions' squad for the first time for Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus and next Tuesday's friendly against 2014 World Cup winners Germany.

The 27-year-old's selection was prompted by his eight goals for Napoli in 11 Serie A appearances this term, already more than half as many as the 15 he netted in 2013-14, and is a big step forward for a Real Madrid academy graduate who was discarded by the club.

After moving on from Real's B team in 2008, Callejon spent three unremarkable seasons at La Liga side Espanyol before returning to Real in 2011, where he played mainly as a substitute under then-coach Jose Mourinho.

Also read: Injury rules out Verratti from Italy squad

Del Bosque is clearly hoping his impish skills and eye for goal will help Spain overcome their recent scoring woes, especially with striker Diego Costa unavailable.

"He (Callejon) has good technique for scoring goals, with a very accurate shot," Del Bosque said on Spanish radio on Tuesday.

"It's not a surprise (that he has hit form), he just didn't have regular opportunities with Madrid."

Callejon told a news conference at Spain's training base outside the Spanish capital on Wednesday he was "confident" and determined to make the most of his opportunity.

"I am on good form for my club and I want to show that here as well," he told reporters.

"I want to demonstrate that I am in very good shape physically and that I can hold down a place in the team for a long time," he added.

Spain's bid to qualify for the tournament in France in two years' time, when they will be chasing a third consecutive continental crown, stuttered when they were beaten 2-1 in Slovakia last month.

The Eastern Europeans top Group C on nine points from three matches, with Spain and Ukraine on six, Macedonia on three and Belarus and Luxembourg on one point each.

- Reuters


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