Athletic veteran Aritz Aduriz delighted to score on Spain return

Aritz Aduriz was delighted to score his first goal for Spain in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Italy in Udine.

Aduriz, who turned 35 in February, netted the equaliser on his first start for Spain, and became the second oldest player to score for La Roja.

Jose Maria Pena was 35 and seven months when he scored for Spain in 1930.

"I'm happy with my individual performance but annoyed that we didn't get a win," the Athletic Bilbao striker said on the Spanish FA's website.

"It wasn't an easy game and we struggled because Italy pressed a lot. In the second half, we were closer to the area although we didn't have many chances."

On a personal level, Aduriz said he relished the opportunity to play for the national team again, having not featured since making his debut on Oct. 9, 2010.

"I'm delighted to play with Spain, with such great players," said Aduriz, who started the game alongside Juventus forward Alvaro Morata.

"It's easy to play with these players. There is a great team and that facilitates the work. Morata and I have understood each other well throughout the game."

Aduriz has scored 31 goals for Athletic this season and is targeting a place in Vicente del Bosque's 23-man squad for the European Championship.

With Morata and Valencia's Paco Alcacer expected to make the final cut, Spanish sports newspaper AS said Aduriz appeared to have moved ahead of Diego Costa in the pecking order with his performance. The Chelsea striker did not make the current squad due to a muscular injury.

Del Bosque told reporters after Thursday's game: "Aduriz did a good job and I believe he will adapt perfectly to our play."

Spain, who face Romania at the Cluj Arena in Sunday's friendly, have been drawn in Group D at Euro 2016 alongside Croatia, Czech Republic and Turkey.