Teerasil becomes first Thai to play in La Liga

Reuters| Updated: Aug 25, 2014, 15:43 PM IST

Striker Teerasil Dangda became the first Thai to play in the Spanish top flight when he came off the bench for Almeria in their 1-1 draw with Espanyol on Sunday.

The 26-year-old is on a season-long loan from Thai Premier League side Muangthong United as he bids to seal a permanent deal with the Spanish side, who narrowly avoided relegation last term after finishing one point above the drop zone.

"I was already happy when I was named one of the substitutes for the match. I`m delighted to see action on the pitch. I can`t describe my feelings," Teerasil was quoted as saying by Thai media on Monday.

"I didn`t know whether I was delighted, excited or nervous. It`s a mixture of all but mostly it`s one of satisfaction to get a taste of what we previously could only watch on television."

Teerasil had a brief spell at Spanish champions Atletico Madrid last year but did not play in the first team.

He also had a trial at Manchester City in 2007, when the club was owned by his compatriot Thaksin Shinawatra, but was unable to gain a work permit and left without playing.

Teerasil, a mainstay of the national team, said it was too soon to say whether the Almeria deal could become permanent.

"Let`s see how it turns out. It`s only one match so we cannot tell anything," he added.

"There are still many things that I need to work on if I want to make more appearances or break into the first team. I need to improve on many things."