Swans' journey is spreading the word to the top of the sport
WHEN Angel Rangel made his Swansea City debut in a League One defeat at Oldham in 2007, the idea of being watched by the manager of Spain would have seemed as remote as the prospect of the Swans winning at Chelsea.
But in the last five days, both have become reality for Rangel and his side.
Vicente del Bosque, Spain's World Cup and European Championship-winning coach, was at Goodison Park on Saturday to watch Swansea's 0-0 draw with Everton.
His primary purpose for being there was to watch Michu, though this was a stalemate which demonstrated the attritional rather than aesthetic qualities of Michael Laudrup's side.
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Regardless of the game's standing as a spectacle, however, Rangel believes del Bosque's mere presence was an indication of the progress Swansea have made in recent years.
"It is crazy but shows you Swansea is known everywhere. It's an amazing thing, just the fact he was here," he said.
"It probably wasn't the best game for him to watch because we didn't really play our game which, from a Spanish point of view, they are used to seeing more combinations and more passing.
"But it is more important what we have to do, and sometimes we have to show the other side of the game, positioning and organisation.
"I'm really delighted he was here, whether it was for Michu, Chico, whoever. For him to be here was already a great reward."
Although he modestly omitted himself from that list, Rangel's performance at Goodison Park will not have gone entirely unnoticed by del Bosque.
At 30 years old, a call-up to the Spain squad seems unlikely for Rangel, but he has arguably played as well as he ever has for Swansea this season.
"I thought perhaps being 30 would make it harder but I am enjoying the season.
''Everyone is playing well," he added.
"We are a team and, while you can single out anyone, it is always been about the team at Swansea and that is shining again."
Rangel is typically bashful when it comes to an assessment of his own form, though he has impressed in a somewhat unfamiliar role recently.
Having moved into midfield during the spectacular 2-0 win at Chelsea in last week's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg, the Spaniard started there against Everton and looked at ease.
"It's obviously tough for me because I'm not used to it, but my job was almost more defensive than offensive even pushed higher up because I had to stop (Leighton) Baines," he said.
"Dwight (Tiendalli) and myself did that well against him and (Steven) Pienaar, who are one of the best left sides in Premier League.
"We knew if we could stop that we had chance to at least get a draw. Not only that, I think we all defended really well.
"We forced them to put long balls into the box and, when they did, everyone was really strong.
"It's difficult to play as a winger but I enjoyed it and it's an extra option for myself and the team."