Swansea City's Michael Laudrup: Magnificent Michu can make World Cup
MICHAEL Laudrup reckons Michu is good enough for the World Cup — and has challenged the forward to book his place in Brazil by starring at Swansea City.
Laudrup has paid tribute to Michu's "absolutely magnificent achievement" after he won his first cap for world and European champions Spain last week.
The Dane reckons all at Swansea should be proud of Michu, who was the odd one out in a Spanish squad packed with Champions League stars.
And though competition is fierce, Swansea's manager believes his £2.2 million sensation has the talent required to stick around with Spain.
"Michu made his debut in Majorca, and I was there at the same time and saw the Spain squad," Laudrup said.
"I watched the players and it was Barcelona, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid.
"Then there was Atletico Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea, then Barcelona, Real Madrid and Swansea City.
"It must be one of the difficult squads in the world to get into and, with all respect for our club, doing it when you play for Swansea is an absolutely magnificent achievement.
"All the other players are at top Champions League clubs, but I think Michu can stay there and go to the World Cup.
"He knows there is a long way to go before he is in the last 23, because there are four or five players at least who could be there instead.
"Maybe it will be two from five — Michu, Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado, Fernando Torres and David Villa — so you can see it is a high level.
"There are some players who are certain to go, like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos.
"But then there are probably three, four, five or six places which are not decided.
"Who goes will depend on what each player does with their club."
Michu played for almost an hour as Spain saw off Belarus last week, and was an unused substitute as they beat Georgia on Tuesday to seal World Cup qualification.
The 27-year-old faced some criticism in the Spanish media for his performance on debut — but Laudrup insists he will take heart from his La Roja bow.
"For a player like Michu, who plays for Swansea and was previously at Rayo Vallecano, it is huge to get the call-up from Spain," he added.
"We are talking about the team who have won everything in the last few years, so Michu, and everyone at Swansea, should be very proud."
Michu is set to start for his club when they host Sunderland tomorrow having returned from his homeland unscathed.
Michel Vorm will play despite picking up a hand injury while away with Holland, while Jonathan de Guzman, Leon Britton, Garry Monk and Pablo Hernandez should all be in contention after fitness problems.
Ben Davies is winning his race to feature after a hamstring strain, but Ashley Williams misses out again.