Roberto Soldado has admitted that he did not expect to be included in the Spain squad for their upcoming matches against Saudi Arabia and Georgia.
Despite a prolific season with Valencia, the forward was overlooked for Euro 2012 by national team coach Vicente Del Bosque, as the 61-year-old instead plumped for Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.
Speaking to the press after learning of his selection, Soldado said: "It is always important to be called up, whether it be a friendly or a World Cup qualifier.
"Hopefully I will retain my place in the national side now. I've said many times that competition for a place in this squad is very strong.
"I am realistic and know that it will not be easy, but now that I have been given the chance by the coach I must take the opportunity.
It has been suggested that Soldado may be utilised in a position other than his favoured central-striking role, to which he commented: "Those of us called up will try to convince the coach that we can provide many options for the team."