After making his 100th appearance for Spain in their 5-0 friendly win against Saudi Arabia, striker Fernando Torres said he was looking forward to more of his international team-mates achieving the same feat with La Roja.
Ahead of their opening FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Georgia on Tuesday, Vicente del Bosque's side enjoyed a comfortable warm-up win in Pontevedra. Santi Cazorla, Xavi Hernández, David Villa and Pedro Rodríguez – who was twice on target – all found the net against Frank Rijkaard's visiting team.
It was Torres, however, who drew most of the attention following the encounter after he became the sixth Spanish player to reach 100 games on a night when he wore the captain's armband.
"This is a day that I am never going to forget; it's somethng to be really proud of," the 28-year-old said after joining fellow Spanish centurions Iker Casillas, Andoni Zubizarreta, Raúl González, Xavi and Xabi Alonso. "It is a sign of all of the hard work that is being put in that so many of us are reaching the 100 club these days. It seems that there are several more who will soon reach the figure at a young age like Sergio Ramos [currently on 94 appearances] and Cesc Fàbregas ."
Since making his international debut in a 3-0 friendly victory away to Portugal in September 2003, El Niño has gone on to register 31 goals for his country. He also collected UEFA EURO 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2012 honours, something he believes would have been impossible without the help of his team-mates.
"This team has been playing together for such a long time now that it makes achieving things that much easier," said the Chelsea FC striker. "It's a privilege to be among these players."
During Friday's friendly win, Torres eventually made way for fellow striker Villa, who marked his international return from injury by scoring a 62nd-minute penalty, a strike that took Spain's all-time leading scorer to 52 senior goals.
"It's a special night being back here with the national team after ten months away," the 30-year-old said after making his first appearance for Spain since breaking his leg while on duty with FC Barcelona at the FIFA World Club Cup last December.
"I feel it even more on a sentimental level after being apart from my international team-mates for so long. I missed them a lot in training sessions as well as in games. I am getting better all the time physically and mentally and haven't felt any problems since the operation."
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