Michu gets used to feeling like a winner
Bargain of the season is preparing for the biggest month of his career
Sunday 27 January 2013
It is tempting to believe that things cannot get any better for Michu but, if all goes to plan, the next month should see the Spaniard reach football's next level.
After knocking out Chelsea, Swansea's leading goalscorer believes he can help Michael Laudrup's team create further history by beating Bradford City to win the Capital One Cup at Wembley on 24 February.
And Michu, who has scored 16 times this season, also hopes to force his way into the Spanish international set-up with a debut lined up in a friendly against Uruguay in Doha in 10 days' time.
"I hope it will be a great February for me," said Michu. "Playing for Spain and winning at Wembley would be great. I believe we can win at Wembley and play in Europe. It's my first year here and it's impossible to ask for anything more. We have done well in the League and now we're in a cup final.
"We always try to play well and now we have the chance to do something special," he added. "It's the most important game of my career, and if we win it will be the first title of my career. I hope to win a gold medal. I've never done that before. I've also never been to Wembley, but I hope to play well in the final with Swansea bringing home the trophy.
"I'm a Barcelona fan in Spain because they play good football all the time. I remember when they beat Manchester United to win the Champions' League at Wembley. I hope to be a winner like them. It will be a difficult game against Bradford, but we can win."
The Spain coach, Vicente del Bosque, has said he will include Michu in the squad for the forthcoming friendly. Michu responded: "I am happy to hear what he said. I'm playing the best football in my career. But Spain have a lot of good players in the national team so I will have to wait and see."
While Michu waits for official confirmation of his debut in Spain's colours this week, Swansea wasted little time in securing the long-term future of the Premier League's bargain buy of the season on a new four-year deal last Wednesday. The 26-year-old, who cost just £2.2 million from Rayo Vallecano last summer, is now the highest earner at the Welsh club with wages in the region of £40,000 a week after signing a one-year contract extension.
"Wednesday was the perfect day for me," he said. "I signed a new contract and then we got through to the final. I'm really happy in this team. We're going to Wembley and it's like a dream. We won at Anfield, we won against Chelsea over two legs and now we can win a title.
"For me Swansea are a club on the way up. Possibly it is growing too fast! But if we win we will play in Europe next year. I'm living in a dream. I'm very happy with all my team-mates, the staff, the club and the supporters. I can't ask for any more from them. I'm very happy here. My message to the Swansea supporters is I will stay here. The fans don't need to worry. I want to thank them for all their support. I'm very happy with them.
"I am a loyal person and I stay at clubs for quite a long period. I live in the present, but I have signed for four more years and I'm very happy here. I love the city, I love the supporters, I love the club. I'm very happy. I don't want to go to another team."
Swansea's date with League Two Bradford will be the club's first major cup final. But, despite his stunning season so far, the modest Michu has played down talk that he is in line to join the greats of the Welsh club, who are fittingly also celebrating their centenary season.
"I have been confident in my ability this season," he said. "But I'm not a legend at Swansea. I'm only one more player. I try to work hard and score goals for the team. If I can't score then I always work for the team on the pitch."
Central to Swansea's success this season has been their manager, Michael Laudrup, who won the European Cup at Wembley as a player with Barcelona 21 years ago.
"Michael is a very good coach," said Michu. "He is the best I have worked with. He gives the players a lot of liberty and we are very happy with him."
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