Madrid: Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque produced a major surprise when he called FC Barcelona's teenage striker Munir el Haddadi into his squad for the European Football Championship qualifying match at home to Macedonia Monday.
The striker, who celebrated his 19th birthday last Monday, got the call up after making just one appearance for Spain's Under-21 team and two starts for the Barcelona first team after being promoted from the Barcelona Under-19 side, reports Xinhua.
Last season also saw him make 11 appearances for the club's B-team, scoring four goals in the Spanish second division (Liga Adelante).
Del Bosque has called on the youngster ahead of experienced strikers such as Fernando Llorente and Aritz Aduriz, or Iker Munian, who was also in the Under-21 squad, after Chelsea forward Diego Costa was forced to abandon the squad following a muscle injury in his left leg during Friday's 0-1 defeat to France in Paris.
One factor in Del Bosque's thinking could be that Munir's parents are of Moroccan descent and there were strong rumours that Morocco was interested in recruiting him into its national side.