Arteta still dreaming of playing for Spain

Arsenal playmaker Mikel Arteta is refusing to give up his dream of playing for Spain, despite having not received a senior cap so far in his career.

The 29-year-old has been unfortunate not to have been called up to the national squad, but is currently behind the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas in Vicente del Bosque's pecking order.

The former Everton star was once touted as a possible candidate to represent England, but he is adamant he will not give up hope of winning a possible call-up to the Spanish side.

"My ambition is to win as many trophies as I can and to have the chance of playing for the national team one day," he told Arsenal's official website.

The Gunners midfielder, who was born in Basque city of San Sebastian, had once considered turning out for the Three Lions after earning British citizenship during his time with the Toffees.

But a FIFA bylaw ended any chance of that happening after it emerged he represented Spain at the Under-16 and Under-17 World Championships when he did not hold a British passport.

Arteta, who began his career with Barcelona, accepts it will be hard to break into Del Bosque's squad and admits Xavi is the player he admires most in the current Spain setup.

"I have always been a big fan of Xavi," added Arteta.

"I played and trained with him when I was young. For me consistency is a big thing and he gets rated either eight out of 10 or nine out of 10 every time he plays and he plays 60 or 70 times a year. He is a top, top player for me."