PARIS, (Reuters) – Spain full back Hector Bellerin is relishing the thought of facing Arsenal team mate Tomas Rosicky when the 2008 and 2012 European Championship winners take on Group D rivals Czech Republic on Monday.
Midfielder Rosicky will captain the Czechs while Bellerin, who made his international debut two weeks ago, could start again in Toulouse.
“Rosicky has helped me a lot in my career and has been important for me. It will be great to play against him,” the defender told a news conference at Spain’s headquarters in Ile de Re, France on Friday.
The 21-year-old is the youngest player in his national team’s squad and has been named in tournament organizer UEFA’s ‘Young Guns XI’.
“To be included on that list makes me very proud,” Bellerin said. “I have to thank my club and national team mates because they make it easier for me.”
He added that his move from Barcelona to Arsenal at the age of 16 proved the right one.
“I was young when I took that decision,” said Bellerin. “I’m very happy to have taken the step that I took, thanks to that I’m here with the national team today.”
After their opener against the Czechs, Spain take on Turkey in Nice on June 17 before playing Croatia in Bordeaux four days later.
(Writing by Cindy Garcia; Editing by Tony Jimenez)