International news: Barcelona's Marc Bartra prepares to make his debut for Spain
Last Updated: 14/11/13 2:05pm
Marc Bartra: Barcelona youngster looking to shine for Spain
Barcelona's Marc Bartra knows he is entering a crucial phase of his career as he prepares to make his debut for Spain.
The 22-year-old was called up by La Roja earlier this week after club-mate Cesc Fabregas pulled out of their friendlies with Equatorial Guinea and South Africa injured.
Bartra is now set to make his bow for the senior side against Guinea on Friday and in a World Cup season, his timing is right.
Even though Spain are the defending world and European champions and have an embarrassment of riches to pick from, coach Vincente Del Bosque has stressed the door is always open and, if Bartra performs well, he could find himself heading to Brazil next summer.
"It is the biggest thing you can do as a footballer," Bartra, who has previously represented Catalonia, told Marca.
"There are very good players (in the squad) but I have to be prepared to be ready at any time."
While a debut in Malabo on the northern coast of the Bioko Island may not be the most obvious place for a Spaniard to start his career in the national shirt, Bartra is happy to take whatever he can.
A bit-part player with Barcelona last season, he has started to establish himself more during this campaign and knows what he needs to do to remain in contention for both club and country.
"The most important thing when you get these dreams is to be consistent for much longer," he said.
"It's an important time for me with both Barcelona and Spain."
He does, though, have the added boost of being in camp with a number of his Barcelona team-mates.
"Being with many of the team makes it easier," he said. "I feel really at home.
"Not only are they the best players, but they are humble people who help all they can."