When a country’s leading scorer returns to the national team fold, that star is going to get a lot of respect.
When that player is the all-time leading scorer for Spain, and won a EURO and a World Cup with the side, well, even more so.
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David Villa is back in Spain camp this week ahead of a massive 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, his first time with La Furia Roja since the 2014 World Cup.
Villa has 59 goals in his Spanish career, 15 more than second-place Raul. So when Julen Lopetegui name Villa to the squad, Chelsea and Spain striker Alvaro Morata knew what he had to do with his current squad number.
“The No. 7 belongs to Villa,” Morata is reported to have said.
It’s no small gesture. The No. 7 shirt in Spain is a big deal, and Morata is one of the most important players in the side. It’s a class move from Morata, who is far more critical to Spain’s 2018 World Cup hopes.