LONDON (Reuters) – Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has raved about the example being set by veteran Athletic Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against England at Wembley Stadium.
Aduriz, 35, was called up after grabbing all five goals in a Europa League group stage win over Genk this month and made the most of his chance by coming on to seal Spain’s 4-0 victory over Macedonia in their World Cup Group G qualifier on Saturday.
“When one looks after himself and works with passion, results arrive,” Lopetegui told Monday’s news conference in London. “Aduriz is an example for everyone.”
The striker was with Spain at Euro 2016 but had not been included in Lopetegui’s first two squad selections.
“Between tonight and tomorrow we will decide who will start against England,” added the Spain coach.
Tuesday’s game will be the last of Gareth Southgate’s four-match audition as England interim manager since replacing Sam Allardyce in September.
England beat Scotland 3-0 in a World Cup Group F qualifier on Friday.
“I think England are improving under their new manager,” Lopetegui said. “We have similarities such as the fact that we both coached at under 21 level.
“It’s an honor to play at Wembley and against an historic rival as England is. It’s going to be a great game.”
Spain and England top their World Cup qualifying groups.
(Reporting by Adriana Garcia; editing by Ken Ferris)