Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas has told Marca he understands why other players get picked ahead of him for the Spanish national team.
Fabregas, 27, has won 94 caps for his country, winning the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup along the way.
With Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso having retired from international football last summer, many had tipped Fabregas to take over as playmaker for La Roja.
However, he has not featured for Vicente del Bosque's side since the 2-1 Euro 2016 qualifier defeat to Slovakia in October, and he failed to make it off the bench during Friday's unconvincing 1-0 home win over Ukraine, with Atletico Madrid's Koke now firmly established in the side.
Del Bosque has regularly denied speculation of any rift between player and coach, although he did warn Fabregas his place was under threat after he controversially missed November's internationals with a hamstring injury.
The former Barcelona midfielder, who is likely to start Tuesday's friendly against Netherlands in Amsterdam, said he was still happy to be involved with the squad and could understand Del Bosque's decisions to choose other players.
"I do not believe I have lost my place in the starting team as I was never an automatic pick," he said. "The important thing is to be involved, to play well. If not, the teammate who plays will do well, for sure. I have no doubts about that -- I always back my teammate.
"Every player wants to play, but if the coach decides not to pick you, it is because there are better options. In any case, the team is above everything."
He also dismissed the idea that the team has serious problems despite recent struggles.
"I don't think there's anything wrong," he said. "It's a young team that hasn't grown to maturity yet. That comes by playing matches together. I'm sure these players will bring good times."
Fabregas also said he was very much enjoying life in London, and was looking forward to making a final push towards winning the Premier League title, after leaving Barcelona for Chelsea last summer.
"I am very happy," the former Arsenal player said. "In this moment of my life I am enjoying everything I do. I am playing practically every minute for my club, and that is what makes me happy. To be important for the team is fundamental. Now we must fight strongly for the Premier League, so it ends up a great year."
Asked if Mourinho was the finest coach he had ever worked under, Fabregas -- who has also worked under the likes of Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola -- said: "Thankfully, I've had very good managers. I feel privileged to be able to learn from good professionals."