Euro 2016

Hector Bellerín talks Arsenal, Euro 2016 and Spanish surprise

Hector Bellerín spoke to UEFA from the Spain camp at Euro 2016 about his surprise call-up and saying "Jordi Alba is a model for me, an attacking defender".

Hector Bellerín surprised and delighted to be with Spain at Euro 2016.
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU AFP

Hector Bellerín is enjoying every minute of Spain's Euro 2016 training camp, admitting to Uefa.com that he had his bags packed for his holidays before word came through that he was in the squad: "I was about to head off on holiday for the summer when one of my family phoned me", said the highly rated Arsenal wing-back.

So highly rated that rumours of Barcelona swooping in for the ex-culé are rampant in Spain. The 21 year-old is, however, completely focused on Euro 2016 and the possibility that he might help Spain to a third Euros in a row.

"My family 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 bad luck 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 - Czech Republic

La Roja opens their defence of the title they won in 2008 and 2012 on Monday against a Czech side that Bellerín knows a bit about:

"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," points Bellerín,"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."

Bellerín also had plenty of praise for Tomáš Rosicky; "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."

More grist to the transfer mill, Bellerín praised Barcelona's Jordi Alba: "Alba is a model for me as an attacking wing-back, he's a player I've always wanted to emulate, a style I aspire to. I don't know who's faster out of the two of us, but the important thing is that we both are and can help the team", he concluded.

Bellerín may have been brought as back-up to Atlético Madrid's Juanfran, but given the opportunity, it wouldn't surprise to see the Arsenal player starting for Spain by the end of their tournament, his meteoric rise would suggest no less.