Spain national under-21 football team

The Spain national under-21 football team is the national under-21 football team of Spain and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation. The team, nicknamed La Rojita (The Little Red [One]),[1] competes in the biennial UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Spain Under-21
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)La Rojita (The Little Red [One])
AssociationRoyal Spanish Football Federation
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachLuis de la Fuente
CaptainMarc Cucurella
Most capsGerard Deulofeu (36)
Top scorerGerard Deulofeu (17)
FIFA codeESP
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Yugoslavia 4–1 Spain 
(Zagreb, Yugoslavia; 9 October 1976)
Biggest win
 Spain 14–0 San Marino 
(El Ejido, Spain; 8 February 2005)
Biggest defeat
 Netherlands 5–0 Spain 
(Utrecht, Netherlands; 16 February 1983)
Records for competitive matches only.
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances13 (first in 1982)
Best resultWinners (1986, 1998, 2011, 2013, 2019)
The 2011 winning team

Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Spanish under-21 team was formed. Spain has a fantastic record (competition winners five times and runners-up twice); having consecutively won the 2011 and 2013 Championships. They hold the joint record with Italy for the most wins of the competition.

Since the under-21 competition rules insist that players must be 21 or under at the start of a two-year competition, technically it is an U-23 competition. For this reason, Spain's brief record in the preceding U-23 competitions is also shown, though in actuality, Spain played only three competitive U-23 matches. The first was in the "under-23 Challenge", which they lost, while the next two were in a two-team qualification "group" for the 1972 competition (facing the Soviet Union team, they lost 2–1 at home then drew 1–1 away and failed to qualify. Spain did not enter a team in the other two U-23 competitions, but have been ever present in under-21 competitions).

Spain's youth development programs has been challenging the South American dominance in the FIFA U-17 World Championship and the FIFA U-20 World Cup. In fact, 20 of the Spanish 23-man squad that won the Euro 2008 came through the ranks of the youth teams; most of them had won titles at the youth level as well.

Competitive recordEdit

UEFA European Under-21 Championship RecordEdit

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
1978 Qualifying Stage 4 2 0 2 5 8
1980 Qualifying Stage 4 1 2 1 4 2
1982 Quarter-Finals 6 5 0 1 14 5
1984 Runners-up 10 5 2 3 11 11
1986 Champions 10 7 1 2 18 9
1988 Quarter-Finals 8 4 2 2 10 4
1990 Quarter-Finals 6 4 0 2 5 4
1992 Qualifying Stage 7 3 2 2 6 5
  1994 Third Place 12 9 2 1 21 9
  1996 Runners-up 14 10 3 1 34 14
  1998 Champions 11 10 1 0 21 6
  2000 Third Place 14 11 3 0 31 7
  2002 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 1 3 15 9
  2004 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 2 2 17 5
  2006 Qualifying Stage 10 6 2 2 37 8
  2007 Qualification Playoffs 4 2 1 1 8 4
  2009 Group Stage 13 10 1 2 27 7
  2011 Champions 15 12 2 1 31 8
  2013 Champions 15 14 1 0 47 5
  2015 Qualification Playoffs 10 7 2 1 25 8
  2017 Runners-up 17 11 4 2 44 13
  2019 Champions 15 13 0 2 45 16
Total 14/22 225 157 34 33 476 167

*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

  • Gold background color indicates first-place finish. Silver background color indicates second-place finish. Bronze background color indicates third-place finish.
  • Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

Individual awardsEdit

In addition to team victories, Spanish players have won individual awards at UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.

Year Golden Player Golden Boot
  1986 Manolo Sanchís
  1998 Francesc Arnau
  2011 Juan Mata Adrián
  2013 Thiago Álvaro Morata
  2017 Dani Ceballos Saúl
  2019 Fabián Ruiz

Player recordsEdit

Top appearancesEdit

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Caps
1 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla, Milan 2012–2017 36
2 Borja Mayoral Real Madrid, VfL Wolfsburg, Levante 2015–2019 31
  Jorge Meré Sporting Gijón, FC Köln 2015–2019 31
  Iker Muniain Athletic Bilbao 2011–2014 31
5 Dani Ceballos Betis, Real Madrid 2015–2019 29
6 Santiago Denia Albacete, Atlético Madrid 1992–1996 27
  David de Gea Atlético Madrid, Manchester United 2009–2013 27
8 Diego Capel Sevilla 2007–2011 25
  Mikel Oyarzabal Real Sociedad 2017–2019 25
  Saúl Atlético Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 2013–2017 25
  Xavi Barcelona 1998–2001 25

Note: Club(s) represents all the clubs that players played in at the time they did it too in the Under-21s.

Top goalscorersEdit

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Goals
1 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla, Milan 2012–2017 17
2 Borja Mayoral Real Madrid, VfL Wolfsburg, Levante 2015–2019 16
3 Rodrigo Benfica 2011–2013 15
4 Isco Málaga, Real Madrid 2011–2014 14
5 Álvaro Morata Real Madrid, Juventus 2013–2014 13
6 Óscar Barcelona, Albacete 1992–1996 12
7 Munir Barcelona 2014–2016 10
8 Pablo Couñago Celta, Recreativo, Ipswich Town 1999–2001 9
  Adrián Deportivo, Alavés, Málaga, Atlético Madrid 2007–2011 9
  Saúl Atlético Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 2013–2017 9

Note: Club(s) represents all the clubs that players played in at the time they did it too in the Under-21s.

  • Caps and goals correct as of 3 September 2020.

Recent resultsEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
10 October 2019 Friendly Córdoba, Spain   Germany 1–1 Manu García   10'
15 October 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Podgorica, Montenegro   Montenegro 2–0 Buñuel   34', Cucurella   62'
14 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain   North Macedonia 3–0 Manu García   7', Serafimov   47' (o.g.), Pedrosa   87'
19 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Ramat Gan, Israel   Israel 1–1 Óscar   50'
3 September 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Skopje, North Macedonia   North Macedonia 1–0 Hugo Duro   84' (pen.)
8 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Tórsvøllur, Faroe Islands   Faroe Islands 2–0 Brahim Díaz   51'90+1'
13 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain   Kazakhstan 3–0 Guillamón   65', Dani Gómez   71'85'

Forthcoming fixturesEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent
12 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain   Faroe Islands
17 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain   Israel

2021 UEFA European Under-21 ChampionshipEdit

Group phaseEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   Spain (Q) 8 7 1 0 15 1 +14 22 Final tournament 3–0 17 Nov 3–0 2–0 12 Nov
2   North Macedonia (Y) 8 4 2 2 17 10 +7 14 Final tournament if among five best runners-up 0–1 1–1 1–1 17 Nov 7–1
3   Israel (Y) 8 3 3 2 11 10 +1 12 1–1 12 Nov 1–2 0–0 3–1
4   Kazakhstan (E) 9 3 1 5 10 18 −8 10 0–1 1–4 1–2 0–4 17 Nov
5   Montenegro (E) 9 2 1 6 10 11 −1 7 0–2 1–2 1–2 1–2 3–0
6   Faroe Islands (E) 8 2 0 6 8 21 −13 6 0–2 1–2 3–1 1–3 1–0
Updated to match(es) played on 13 October 2020. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(E) Eliminated; (Q) Qualified to the phase indicated; (Y) Cannot win group, but can still qualify for final tournament as one of the five best runners-up.

PlayersEdit

The following players were called up for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against the Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan on 8 and 13 October 2020 respectively.[2]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Álvaro Fernández (1998-04-13) 13 April 1998 (age 22) 4 0   Huesca
13 1GK Josep Martínez (1998-05-27) 27 May 1998 (age 22) 2 0   RB Leipzig
23 1GK Iñaki Peña (1999-03-02) 2 March 1999 (age 21) 0 0   Barcelona B

2 2DF Pedro Porro (1999-09-13) 13 September 1999 (age 21) 6 0   Sporting CP
3 2DF Jorge Cuenca (1999-11-17) 17 November 1999 (age 20) 6 0   Almería
4 2DF Manu Hernando (1998-07-19) 19 July 1998 (age 22) 1 0   Ponferradina
5 2DF Hugo Guillamón (2000-01-31) 31 January 2000 (age 20) 3 1   Valencia
12 2DF Fran García (1999-08-14) 14 August 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Rayo Vallecano
15 2DF Pipa (1998-01-26) 26 January 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Huddersfield Town
18 2DF Adrià Pedrosa (1998-05-13) 13 May 1998 (age 22) 5 1   Espanyol

6 3MF Riqui Puig (1999-08-13) 13 August 1999 (age 21) 3 0   Barcelona
8 3MF Fran Beltrán (1999-02-03) 3 February 1999 (age 21) 8 0   Celta Vigo
10 3MF Óscar Rodríguez (1998-06-28) 28 June 1998 (age 22) 6 1   Sevilla
14 3MF Martín Zubimendi (1999-02-02) 2 February 1999 (age 21) 2 0   Real Sociedad
17 3MF Marc Cucurella (Captain) (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 22) 7 1   Getafe
20 3MF Jon Moncayola (1998-05-13) 13 May 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Osasuna
21 3MF Pedri (2002-11-25) 25 November 2002 (age 17) 3 0   Barcelona

7 4FW Brahim Díaz (1999-08-03) 3 August 1999 (age 21) 3 2   Milan
9 4FW Dani Gómez (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 22) 4 2   Levante
11 4FW Javi Puado (1998-05-25) 25 May 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Espanyol
16 4FW Bryan Gil (2001-02-11) 11 February 2001 (age 19) 1 0   Eibar
19 4FW Antoñín (2000-04-16) 16 April 2000 (age 20) 2 0   Rayo Vallecano
22 4FW Ander Barrenetxea (2001-12-27) 27 December 2001 (age 18) 1 0   Real Sociedad

Recent callupsEdit

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months and still eligible for 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Dani Martín (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Betis v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020

DF Juan Miranda (2000-01-19) 19 January 2000 (age 20) 3 0   Betis v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
DF Enrique Clemente (1999-03-04) 4 March 1999 (age 21) 2 0   Logroñés v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
DF Manu Sánchez (2000-08-24) 24 August 2000 (age 20) 0 0   Atlético Madrid v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
DF Francisco Montero (1999-01-14) 14 January 1999 (age 21) 1 0   Beşiktaş v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
DF Eric García (2001-01-09) 9 January 2001 (age 19) 5 0   Manchester City v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
DF José Amo (1998-04-09) 9 April 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Ponferradina v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
DF Aitor Buñuel (1998-02-10) 10 February 1998 (age 22) 4 1   Almería v.   Israel, 19 November 2019

MF Gonzalo Villar (1998-03-23) 23 March 1998 (age 22) 5 0   Roma v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
MF Carles Aleñá (1998-01-05) 5 January 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Barcelona v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
MF Manu Garcia (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 (age 22) 3 2   Sporting Gijón v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
MF Pepelu (1998-08-11) 11 August 1998 (age 22) 3 0   Vitória v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
MF Pol Lozano (1999-10-06) 6 October 1999 (age 21) 4 0   Espanyol v.   Israel, 19 November 2019

FW Andrés Martín (1999-07-11) 11 July 1999 (age 21) 7 0   Rayo Vallecano v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
FW Alejandro Pozo (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 21) 7 0   Sevilla v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
FW Hugo Duro (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 22) 1 1   Real Madrid B v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
FW Valery Fernández (1999-11-23) 23 November 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Girona v.   North Macedonia, 3 September 2020
FW Ferran Torres (2000-02-29) 29 February 2000 (age 20) 6 0   Manchester City v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
FW Abel Ruiz (2000-01-28) 28 January 2000 (age 20) 3 0   Braga v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
FW Ansu Fati (2002-10-31) 31 October 2002 (age 17) 2 0   Barcelona v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
FW Sergio Gómez (2000-09-04) 4 September 2000 (age 20) 2 0   Huesca v.   Israel, 19 November 2019
Notes
  • Players in italics are still active at international level.
  • INJ = Not part of the current squad due to injury.
  • PRE = Not part of the current squad but present in a preliminary list.
  • COV = Not part of the current squad due to testing positive in SARS-CoV-2.

Former squadsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "La sub 21 regresa al lugar donde nació el 'tiqui-taca'" [The under-21 team returns to the birthplace of tiki-taka] (in Spanish). MARCA. 2011-06-09.
  2. ^ Esta es la convocatoria de Luis de la Fuente para los partidos de la @SeFutbol Sub-21 ante Island Feroe y Kazajistán del 8 y 13 de octubre.

External linksEdit