Soldado delighted with return to form after Tottenham failure

The striker had been waiting to show the calibre of performance he could put in and hopes his form will give him a chance of returning to the Spain team

New Villarreal hitman Roberto Soldado said his man-of-the-match performance in a 3-1 victory against Espanyol was the perfect illustration of his abilities after his struggles in England.

The former Tottenham striker scored once and assisted twice as he inspired the Yellow Submarines to come back from a goal down to defeat their visitors on Friday.

And Soldado, who went joint-top of Spain’s goalscoring charts with his exploits, revealed he had long been seeking to put in a performance of that magnitude and hopes it gets him back in contention for a place in Spain’s squad.

“I’ve been needing a game like that,” the 30-year-old, who struggled to live up to expectations during his time at White Hart Lane, told reporters after the match.

“My level in England wasn’t good. Let’s see if I can continue like this and hopefully in the future I can return to the Span squad, which is what every player wants.

“I still have to work hard to get back to my best. A striker wants to score important goals that help the team. We reacted well to going down and Cedric Bakambu gave us a lot.

“All our matches this season will be very difficult as every team in this league is here because they deserve it. We have to trust in ourselves, prepare well and get into good form.”

Soldado returned to Spain with Marcelino’s men this summer for €16 million to replace Luciano Vietto upfront.