Soldado determined to seize Spain chance

Valencia striker Roberto Soldado admits his destiny is in his own hands as he looks to seize a long-awaited opportunity in the Spain shirt.

Football News: Roberto Soldado

The former Real Madrid youngster has not played for his country since 2007 but has established himself as one of La Liga's most consistent marksmen over the last three years.

Soldado currently has 12 league goals to his name and is La Liga's second-highest scoring Spaniard behind Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente.

With Barcelona's David Villa injured and Chelsea's Fernando Torres dropped for Wednesday's friendly against Venezuela in Malaga, Soldado is expected to be given his chance by coach Vicente Del Bosque. And he has vowed to grab it with both hands ahead of this summer's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Soldado reportedly told reporters in Spain: "I really wanted to get into the squad but I knew how hard it would be.

"I'm finally here and I hope to make the most of the opportunity. The best way for a striker to receive a call-up is to score. That will determine whether you are here or not.

"I have a significant goalscoring record and I look forward to adding to that in this team."

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery will represent France against Germany on Wednesday looking to bury the memory of being booed by fans in November's friendly stalemate with Belgium.

"I have truly been through the darkest period of my existence. That is now behind me," he told La Parisien.

"I still love wearing the Bleus shirt and there is such pride each time I am called up."

Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella hopes to use their friendly against Switzerland to build some solid foundations for the future.

"This game will help the team to gain consistency and the players to get to know each other. Some here have been called for the first time," he said ahead of the match with the Swiss, who failed to qualify for this summer's tournament.

"It is also worthwhile for the competitive element, and to build a group spirit on and off the pitch."

Sabella has prioritised defensive solidity as he looks to rebuild.

"We have to construct a strong defence and that is why we called up who we did," he is quoted as saying by goal.com. "There are players who I have picked for the first time, like Hugo Campagnaro and Cata Diaz.

"We have to take into account (Nicolas) Burdisso's injury."

Russia boss Dick Advocaat has welcomed recent moves by several key players as his side prepare to face Denmark.

Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov have all returned to Russia and Advocaat believes the transfers - and increased playing time they should bring - will benefit him.

"They didn't play regularly in the first half of the season," he told RIA Novosti.

"That was the picture from last summer until December. Now they should get practice at their clubs every week."

Wednesday's programme also sees Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine and Poland face Israel and Portugal respectively, Croatia play Sweden, the Republic of Ireland are at home to the Czech Republic and Italy face the United States.

Wales pay tribute to late manager Gary Speed in their friendly at home to Costa Rica while fellow Britons Northern Ireland entertain Norway.

Wednesday's International Friendly Fixtures

Spain vs Venezuela

Germany vs France

England vs Holland

Argentina vs Switzerland

Russia vs Denmark

Ukraine vs Israel

Poland vs Portugal

Croatia vs Sweden

Republic of Ireland vs Czech Republic

Italy vs United States

Wales vs Costa Rica

Northern Ireland vs Norway



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