With record scorer David Villa ruled out through injury and doubts about the form of Fernando Torres following a lack of goals for Chelsea last season, a berth in Spain’s attack heading into the European Championships looks to be up for grabs.
Negredo, who was selected ahead of Roberto Soldado and Adrian Lopez in Vincent Del Bosque’s 23-man squad for the Euros, has been stating a strong case for his inclusion after ending the Primera Division season with eight goals in his final nine games for Sevilla and then also netting in Wednesday’s 4-1 friendly win over South Korea.
Now the 26-year-old is hoping to impress again against China at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville.
“Against South Korea I was fortunate enough to score a goal. I’m happy because that’s what strikers live for, and I hope to be able to repeat it against China,” said Negredo, who admits he was never 100% confident he would win a place in Del Bosque’s final squad.
“I had doubts if I was going to be in the European Championships because I knew the competition was very tough. Soldado and Adrian, the two players who finally missed out, had very strong seasons. I had doubts right up until the last minute but I also knew I had a chance and in the end I got in.
“I’m happy because I’ve fulfilled a dream that I’ve had for a long time. At last I’ve achieved it and now I’ve set myself new goals. I hope and I can play an important part and can help Spain repeat their success,” the former Real Madrid striker told Efe.
Sunday’s match is the third friendly Spain will play in just over a week before the head to Ukraine and Poland to start the defence of their European crown against Italy on June 10.
After that match, Spain take on the Republic of Ireland and then Croatia as they look to secure passage out of Group C.
The reigning world and European champions are favourites to lift the trophy heading into the tournament, but defender Sergio Ramos knows they cannot afford to get caught up in the hype surrounding the team.
“The key to our success was always to take everything from zero and respect our opponents. Humility is the base from which we’ve grown over these last few years,” said the Real Madrid player.
Spain will come up against a familiar face in Sunday’s friendly with opponents China coached by Jose Antonio Camacho.
Camacho, who both played for and coached Spain and was also a key part of the hugely successful Real Madrid sides of the 1970s and 80s, is looking forward to taking on his countrymen and hopes China can put up a good fight.
“I hope China can show the best of themselves and take some positives from the game against Spain, from which we hope to gain experience and competitiveness,” said Camacho in AS.