Michu call-up symbolises Swansea City success
THERE have been plenty of symbolic images to mark Swansea City's remarkable climb in recent seasons.
Who could forget Brendan Rodgers racing down the touchline when Darren Pratley scored that crucial play-off goal against Nottingham Forest?
Then there was the sight of the Northern Irishman being flung skywards after Swansea's victory over Reading at Wembley.
Luke Moore's goal to beat future Premier League champions Manchester City two seasons ago and the celebrations after a League Cup win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge are also iconic moments.
That is not to mention the glorious memory of the Capital One Cup being held aloft, the open top bus parades and more recently the silence of a stunned Mestalla as Swansea overcame Valencia 3-0.
But on Friday there may be another milestone to savour.
Michu was called up by Spain on Sunday and could feature for his country in a World Cup qualifier against Belarus in Majorca.
Though fans have had better reasons to celebrate in the last few seasons, the sight of a Swansea player featuring for the best side on the planet will surely take some beating as a mark of progress.
Michu learned after last weekend's defeat to Southampton that he had made the squad for that game in three days time and the Group I match against Georgia in Albacete next Tuesday.
The 27-year-old got the nod ahead of Spurs frontman Roberto Soldado and Juventus's Fernando Llorente after Atletico Madrid forward David Villa was forced to pull out through injury.
Recognition for Michu comes after just over a season with Swansea that has seen him rise from unknown hopeful to bone fide star.
Michu is the poster boy for Swansea City in the Premier League, their best known player and most talked about asset.
Much has been written about the former Rayo Vallecano man's bargain £2.2 million signing and countless questions asked about how he was missed by bigger, better connected clubs.
But that international cap still evaded him.
It looked to be imminent last season when Spain coach Vicente del Bosque praised the Oviedo youth product, watched him against Everton at Goodison Park and hinted he would get a chance.
But the call never came.
Undeterred, Michu's fine form continued.
He went on to notch 22 goals during his first season in English football, including memorable strikes against Arsenal and a League Cup semi-final goal at Chelsea.
Despite that impact and the ripples it was making in his homeland, it took a performance in Spain to finally prove Michu's case.
Last month he scored in an away Europa League clash with Valencia as Swansea recorded a landmark win.
It is certainly not the first time a Swansea player has made an international squad. Nor will Michu become the first from the club to run out at a World Cup should Spain reach next year's finals and include him in their travelling party.
Mel Charles, Ivor Allchurch, Len Allchurch and Cliff Jones all turned out for Wales at the 1958 tournament.
More recently, Walter Boyd joined Swansea having represented Jamaica in France 1998 and, after leaving the Liberty, Rory Fallon turned out for New Zealand when the competition was staged in South Africa three years ago.
But this is different.
Michu is in contention to play for a side who have established themselves as one of the best in recent history.
Spain are enjoying a golden era as reigning World and European champions.
And del Bosque's men need just four points to reach Rio next year.
Should they mange that in the next two matches, a snap of Michu celebrating would be another for the Swansea album.