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Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Birmingham's Michel targets Spain call-up

Michel scored seven league goals in five years at Gijon

Birmingham City new boy Michel has his sights set on international recognition after moving to the Premier League.

The £3 million signing from Sporting Gijon is hoping Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque keeps a close eye on his performances for the St Andrew's club.

"I think he watches all the Spanish players, but it's a big ask for me," Michel, 24, told BBC WM.

"In my position there are players like Xabi Alonso, Iniesta, Xavi, Silva and Cazorla - many players."

The highly-rated player had been tracked by Blues boss Alex McLeish for the best part of a year, and he is looking forward to impressing his new manager.

"Yes, he's shown a lot of faith in me, and now training under him I'll try to show what I can do by working hard and showing the right attitude," he said.

"Everyone says I'm more defensive than attacking and in fairness I've always loved defending, but I also love to attack, to have the ball.

"When you need to defend - defend. And do your utmost to make sure your opponents don't get anywhere near your goal."

Michel grew up in the Asturias region, going on to play more than 100 league games for his local club Sporting, so it has been a wrench for him to make the move to England.

"It's always hard to leave your homeland, and above all your friends and family," he admitted.

"But it's one of those decisions you have to make to move forward. It's the first step I had to take, now I want to make the best of it."

Michel goes straight into the squad for the weekend trip to Portsmouth, having enjoyed his first taste of the Premier League as a spectator as Blues drew 1-1 with Manchester United.

"It was really impressive, the whole ground was full and against such a big team as Manchester - I was flabbergasted," he said.

"The truth is we cancelled out United - as well as they played on the ball it was one of those games where they needed a little bit more."

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