Luis Enrique has named his squad for the upcoming matches with Wales and England and Rodrigo Moreno is involved.
The Spanish forward has had a tough start to the season with Valencia and made it clear that when he loses a match he finds it incredibly tough to get over it.
He discussed that and much more in this interview with MARCA.
A year ago Julen Lopetegui called you up for the first time and now Luis Enrique has done the same. How do you feel about this?
"To come to the national team is always a source of pride, it's a reward."
In September the team came out reinvigorated and scored at least two goals in each match. Did you feel this?
"We all arrived feeling invigorated. They were two rivals from the highest order and we won in England for the first time in I don't know how many years. When a new coach arrives, questions are always asked with regards to how he can get more out of the players. This happened even more this time around after what occurred at the World Cup."
How do you explain the difference between the matches against England and Croatia and what happened in Russia?
"We have a different coach and some of the players have changed, but that's football. How can you explain a team that can do well in the league and struggles in the Champions League, or vice versa? There isn't an explanation or an answer. It's a mixture of factors and the group has adapted well to what the coach has asked. He knows how to convey his message in a short time. When putting this into practice things went well. It doesn't always happen but things just went perfectly."
What was Luis Enrique's message?
"He didn't want to renounce the style of the national team, that of retaining possession, but he made clear that we wanted to be more vertical and not a team that abused possession. We wanted to use it to achieve what football is all about, scoring goals. Football is decided in both phases. We almost always take the initiative, we are brave with midfielders that control things. Our opponents are waiting for a mistake, as happened in Russia, and if they take advantage of it, things become very complicated."
Are you considered a No.9 by Luis Enrique?
"No, I don't even consider myself a No.9. He's made it clear that he's open to what he sees in training, and this is very important. It's been seen clearly with the case of Iago Aspas, who went from not being in the squad to being a starter. Luis Enrique doesn't say things for impact, he tries to back what he says with facts. I played against England and Croatia, but if I want to stay in the team I have to earn it."
At Wembley you were played on the wing and through the middle against Croatia. Where do you feel most comfortable?
"It depends on the team's system. In Valencia we play 4-4-2 and I'm a forward with a lot of mobility. In a 4-3-3, the No.9 has to be a reference point, if you drift a lot then things become complicated."
Which role do you prefer?
"I prefer to just play. I feel comfortable playing. I adapt to a wide position or I can play centrally. What matters is being on the pitch and doing well."
Have you played the match with Russia many times over in your head? The shot?
"That moment was a shame. I don't know if the shot had to go higher or lower, but nothing can be done now. Time doesn't go back for anyone. There is no need to regret the past, we must work and focus on being successful in the future."
Is it difficult to accept the past?
"Everything has its own process. We had a team capable of doing something more in the World Cup, but everything that happened with the theme of Julen Lopetegui's departure didn't favour us. We'd never blame our elimination on that, though. Football doesn't stop for anyone, it doesn't wait for anyone. We're now in a new era."
It's fair to say that football hasn't always been easy for you, correct?
"Reaching the national team and staying there is difficult for anyone, even those who have more than 100 caps. You must maintain a high level for a long time and have good luck with injures. You must also need a coach who trusts you, but everyone has their preferences and ideas of how a team should play. That's why being here is a source of great pride for me."
But would you agree the road has never been simple for you?
"I've always tried to make my own way and trust my own chances. I always look for goals and try and play as well as possible. With Spain I've played in almost every age group and I've always been clear that I wanted to reach the summit and play at a World Cup or European Championship. I've done that and now I'm looking for fresh motivation to play more, to always be in the squad and to achieve important things."
Coming from Valencia, you're used to such pressure, aren't you?
"We all know what Valencia is like. The expectations are so high. Last season was a great season, but this one started in a less impressive manner. The team is competitive, but it's lacking the offensive structure on a collective level. It's taking a lot for us to make chances at this moment. We're seeing a solid team, but we aren't winning. We have more to offer, obviously."
Was it a complicated summer for you?
"There was a lot of talk, even before the end of last season. I participated in the World Cup, fulfilling a dream, so I lived through the speculation with tranquillity. I know that things don't always depend on you and what you want. You owe everything to a team and they are ultimately the ones who decide if you stay or go. I knew we had a big year in the Champions League ahead of us, so I was calm. I would have liked to start this season in better form, but you always have to look for the positives."
Did you get distracted about the talk of a potential transfer to Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and other teams?
"I simply tried to focus on myself, what concerns is me is to be comfortable and to train well. The extra issues away from that aren't my problem. I have an agent, who is also my father, and he deals with all those other aspects. He's responsible for that side of my career, 100 percent."
Did Marcelino get angry with you on the day of the Celta Vigo match?
"I don't usually read what is said. I respect everyone's comments because that's what you have to do. My self-criticism is enough. I know when I've played well and when the team has done well. That day I was very angry because we played the most complete game in both defence and attack, but we ended up drawing. We went four or five matches without winning and I was furious, but at no point did Marcelino punish me or make clear he was unhappy with me. There are sometimes days when you go home with an extra bitterness due to what happened in the match."
How is Rodrigo after a defeat?
"I'm unbearable when I lose. I try not to talk to many people. It's true that people try and encourage you, your girlfriend tries to make you feel good, but it's impossible. I prefer to be on my own, sulking."
Do you believe in the individual awards which are so fashionable in football at the moment?
"Football is a collective sport. Individual prizes are fine, but the collective ones, winning titles, are much more important. It's far better to win a World Cup or a Champions League. There are people who agree with who wins individual awards, and others who don't."
In your opinion, who is the best player in the world?
"In recent years there has been two players above the rest, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. We talked regularly about them scoring 40 goals per season, something that hadn't existed in 100 years of football and I don't know how long it will be before we see such a level again. If we're talking about the best on an individual level, it has to be one of Messi or Ronaldo."
What would you give for a title?
"I wouldn't give my life, obviously, but it would come pretty close. It would be very beautiful for me. I could have won titles with Benfica and it was a shame what happened in the Europa League. I don't have a great track record, but I did win the Under-21 European Championship. With Valencia it's been a long time since we won something and the teams that don't win something every year find possible success even more special as a result."