Spain forward Munir El-Haddadi never considered playing for Morocco
Spain forward Munir El-Haddadi says he never considered playing for Morocco, despite receiving offers to play for the country of his father's birth.
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Barca starlet Munir, 19, made his senior La Roja debut in Monday's straightforward 5-1 Euro 2016 qualifying win over Macedonia, despite only having played two first-team games for his club and having made his under-21 debut for Spain just last week.
This has lead to speculation that the Spanish FA had been keen to ensure Munir played a senior competitive game to secure the services of such a promising talent, and reports that the Moroccan FA had been in touch to persuade the talented youngster to switch allegiance to them.
Madrid-born Munir told reporters in the mixed zone at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium that he had not been seriously considering declaring for Morocco.
"This is a childhood dream come true," Munir said. "It is true that everything is moving very fast, but I try and stay calm and keep working. I never had doubts about playing for Spain. I was born here and am very happy to have done it. To play for Spain was my own decision. I knew what it meant to do so."
The teenager admitted that he had felt under pressure while making such a huge decision, while crediting La Roja coach Vicente Del Bosque with helping him through his senior international debut.
"In some moments I felt pressured, but you have to live with that," Munir said. "I will continue the same, improving every day and doing my work. Vicente told me to be calm and to just play as I do for my club."
Elsewhere inside the stadium Manchester City playmaker David Silva was speaking about how the result, and the performance, was a boost to a side which had felt doubted after such a poor showing at last summer's World Cup.
Silva told Teledeporte that he accepted that some criticism had been inevitable after the disaster in Brazil.
"You must live with the criticism," Silva said. "At the very least there are always doubts. We accept that at this level. We will try and do as well as possible."
Silva added that such a setback did not mean that La Roja needed to drastically change their approach to the game, as the easy dismantling of the limited Macedonians had showed.
"We must remain faithful to the style which has brought such successes," he said. "And we can also change to keep improving. The team played a good game. We created a lot of chances, which was what we wanted. We must have the ball. That is fundamental. We need to get some more balance, so that they do not have chances too."
The former Valencia player, who is now a more senior figure in the squad after the retirements of former greats including Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso, said he had enjoyed the more free role given to him by Del Bosque for this game.
"I felt good on the pitch," Silva said. "Whenever I come with the national team I feel an important player, and I want that to continue. I like to play in the centre, but I will play wherever the team needs me."