The Spain skipper wants to prove his worth in the Confederations Cup after spending the last few months of the season frozen out at Real Madrid
The 32-year-old sustained a hand injury in January and the form of emergency replacement Diego Lopez kept him out of the first team for the rest of 2012-13.
However, he has retained his place in the national team and wants to show that the veteran coach's decision was a sound one.
"I’ve gone four and a half months without playing and got used to being on the bench for my team," he is quoted as saying by AS.
"When Del Bosque announced the squad list on 4 June I was delighted and was determined to take advantage of the opportunity.
"I've gone into this Confederations Cup in a different way to every other tournament I've played in. Before I arrived as the number one for my club and country and that’s not the case this time around.
"I understand that because I have gone so long without playing no-one knows how competitive I’ll be.
"I was a bit nervous during the Ireland game because I’d gone so long without playing but I felt good and comfortable in the end, and got the taste for playing again.
"I feel the same as when I first played for Spain 13 years ago. I have the same excitement of that first day and the same pride for playing for Spain."