Iago Aspas: Debut goal for Spain at Wembley 'a dream come true'
Iago Aspas was thrilled to score on his Spain debut in Tuesday night's international friendly draw against England at Wembley and described the occasion as "a dream come true."
Aspas, 29, has scored six goals in 11 La Liga games for Celta Vigo this season, and continued that impressive form when he came off the bench and hit a left-footed strike late in the game to help Spain come from two goals behind to draw 2-2.
The former Liverpool player, who was called up as a late replacement for injured Chelsea forward Diego Costa and did not feature in Spain's 4-0 win over Macedonia in last Saturday's World Cup qualifier, told Onda Cero radio: "I don't like to lose.
"I'm thrilled to have scored and to have made my Spain debut. For me it was already a reward to have trained with the national team.
"To have made my debut at a venue like Wembley and to have scored is a dream come true. I hope this is the first of many."
Tuesday's game and the goal was extra special for Aspas, who felt he had a point to prove after a disappointing spell at Liverpool.
Celta sold Aspas to Liverpool for £7 million in the summer of 2013 but he scored just two goals for Liverpool in 16 appearances before accepting a loan switch to Sevilla, who later bought the player permanently.
Aspas, who returned to Celta in the summer of 2015, said: "It was special for many reasons.
"I didn't have the season that I would have liked at Liverpool, but from a team standpoint we did fight for the league title and the other strikers scored goals.
"For someone who likes to play like me, to spend almost a year without scoring was tough and I opted to return to Spain."
Another former Liverpool player who left Wembley with a big smile was Pepe Reina.
The 34-year-old Napoli goalkeeper started against England and captained Spain from the 77th minute after Sergio Busquets was substituted.
Reina had not played for La Roja since a 3-0 win over Australia at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He told Onda Cero radio: "It's beautiful after more than two years.
"It's always special.
"I've been very fortunate and very proud to have warn the captain's armband. It's something that it's unlikely to happen again and I will remember forever."
Reina applauded his teammates for their never-say-die attitude in a game that saw England lead 2-0 for 89 minutes.
"Things started badly," he said. "We showed a lot of character. We didn't want to lose and there is a lot of hunger to succeed in this group.
"It was important to take a positive result at Wembley.
"The important thing is that this team has personality."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.