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Bojan gets moment in Spanish spotlight

5 September 2008 15:45

MADRID (AFP) - After three missed chances, Barcelona's promising teenage striker Bojan Krkic is poised to earn his first cap for Spain in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Armenia.

Bojan, who turned 18 last month, was the most significant absence from the squad which new Spain coach Vicente del Bosque assembled for the match against Bosnia on Saturday in Murcia and against Armenia four days later in Albacete.

But after Liverpool striker Fernando Torres pulled a hamstring on Premier League duty the coach called on Bojan as a replacement instead of Real Betis' Sergio Garcia, who was part of the Spain squad that won Euro 2008, or Real Madrid captain Raul.

"For me it is an award to be with the champions of Europe," he said. "But I'm not anxious."

"If I have the opportunity to make my debut all the better, but if not, it will happen another time. I'm not worried," he added.

Born in Spain to a Serbian father and a Catalan mother, Bojan has represented Spain at both Under-17 and Under-21 levels.

He got his first call for the senior team at the start of the year when then Spain coach Luis Aragones included the striker in his line-up for a friendly against France on February 6 which he ultimately missed due to illness.

Bojan then opted out of Spain's Euro 2008-winning squad due to fatigue after his debut season with Barcelona's first team.

"I talked to him and he told me he did not feel at his best physically and mentally," said Aragones at the time.

"It is something I respect. I don't usually talk to players before announcing my squad but this was special given Bojan's age," he added.

Del Bosque, who took over the Spain squad after Euro 2008, included Bojan in his line-up for the first match under his watch, a friendly against Denmark held last month.

But Bojan, who scored 10 goals in the Spanish league last season - one more than Real Madrid captain Raul during his first season in La Liga in 1994 - remained on the bench during the match.

Now he appears ready to make his debut for the senior team given the absence of Torres and Valencia midfielder David Silva due to injury.

"I've been Spanish since I was little and for that reason I'm here, I want to play with the Spanish team," said Bojan, who recently got his driving licence.

"The call-up is already very important for me, irrespective of whether I play or not," he added.

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