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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
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 include 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 30 June 2019

Recent resultsEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
1 September 2017 Friendly Toledo, Spain   Italy 3–0 Merino   23', Mayoral   45+1', Meré   81'
5 September 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Tallinn, Estonia   Estonia 1–0 Soler   65'
10 October 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Poprad, Slovakia   Slovakia 4–1 Merino   26', Oyarzabal   49', Rodri   56', Ceballos   69'
9 November 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Murcia, Spain   Iceland 1–0 Fabián   36'
14 November 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Cartagena, Spain   Slovakia 5–1 Ceballos   38'55'61', Córdoba   53', Mayoral   86'
22 March 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Portadown, Northern Ireland   Northern Ireland 5–3 Oyarzabal   15'44', Mayoral   47'75'84'
27 March 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Ponferrada, Spain   Estonia 3–1 Fabián   8', Mayoral   37'51'
6 September 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Córdoba, Spain   Albania 3–0 Oyarzabal   5', Mayoral   56', Mir   90+2'
11 September 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Albacete, Spain   Northern Ireland 1–2 Rafa Mir   90+2'
11 October 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Tirana, Albania   Albania 1–0 Rafa Mir   84'
16 October 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Reykjavík, Iceland   Iceland 7–2 Oyarzabal   24' (pen.), Rafa Mir   25'40', Gunnarsson   45+2' (o.g.), Carlos Soler   54' Mayoral   87', Fabián   90'
14 November 2018 Friendly Logroño, Spain   Denmark 4–1 Mayoral   25'32'55', Meré   45'
19 November 2018 Friendly Caen, France   France 1–1 Oyarzabal   10' (pen.)
21 March 2019 Friendly Granada, Spain   Romania 1–0 Merino   67'
25 March 2019 Friendly Algeciras, Spain   Austria 3–0 Soler   53'61', Roca   81'
16 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Bologna, Italy   Italy 1–3 Ceballos   9'
19 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Reggio Emilia, Italy   Belgium 2–1 Olmo   7', Fornals   89'
22 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Bologna, Italy   Poland 5–0 Fornals   17', Oyarzabal   35', Fabián   39', Ceballos   71', Mayoral   90'
27 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 semifinals Reggio Emilia, Italy   France 4–1 Roca   28', Oyarzabal   45+5' (pen.), Olmo   47', Mayoral   66'
30 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 Final Udine, Italy   Germany 2–1 Fabián   7', Olmo   69'
6 September 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan   Kazakhstan 1–0 Olmo   28' (pen.)
10 September 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Castellón de la Plana, Spain   Montenegro 2–0 Olmo   3'9'
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'

Forthcoming fixturesEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent
14 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain   North Macedonia
19 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Ramat Gan, Israel   Israel

2021 UEFA European Under-21 ChampionshipEdit

Group phaseEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   Spain 3 3 0 0 5 0 +5 9 Final tournament 31 Mar '20 14 Nov '19 13 Oct '20 2–0 8 Oct '20
2   Kazakhstan 5 2 1 2 7 6 +1 7[a] Final tournament if best runners-up
(Play-offs otherwise)
0–1 8 Oct '20 1–2 3 Sep '20 13 Oct '20
3   North Macedonia 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 7[a] 8 Sep '20 1–1 26 Mar '20 13 Oct '20 7–1
4   Israel 2 2 0 0 5 2 +3 6 19 Nov '19 8 Sep '20 31 Mar '20 14 Nov '19 3–1
5   Montenegro 5 1 0 4 5 8 −3 3 0–2 1–2 1–2 8 Oct '20 3–0
6   Faroe Islands 4 0 0 4 3 16 −13 0 26 Mar '20 1–3 19 Nov '19 2 Sep '20 31 Mar '20
Updated to match(es) played on 15 October 2019. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Ranked on head-to-head away goals: Kazakstan 1, North Macedonia 0.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were called up for the friendly match against Germany on 10 October 2019 and the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Montenegro on 15 October 2019.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Dani Martín (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 21) 3 0   Betis
13 1GK Álvaro Fernández (1998-04-13) 13 April 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Huesca
23 1GK Josep Martínez (1998-05-27) 27 May 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Las Palmas

2 2DF Aitor Buñuel (1998-02-10) 10 February 1998 (age 21) 3 1   Racing Santander
3 2DF Jorge Cuenca (1999-11-17) 17 November 1999 (age 19) 4 0   Barcelona B
4 2DF Eric García (2001-01-09) 9 January 2001 (age 18) 3 0   Manchester City
5 2DF Juan Miranda (2000-01-19) 19 January 2000 (age 19) 2 0   Schalke 04
15 2DF Gonzalo Ávila (1998-01-26) 26 January 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Espanyol
17 2DF Marc Cucurella (1998-07-22) 22 July 1998 (age 21) 4 1   Getafe
18 2DF Adrià Pedrosa (1998-05-13) 13 May 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Espanyol
22 2DF Francisco Montero (1999-01-14) 14 January 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Deportivo de La Coruña

6 3MF Manu Garcia (1998-01-02) 2 January 1998 (age 21) 1 1   Sporting Gijón
7 3MF Alejandro Pozo (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 20) 5 0   Sevilla
8 3MF Fran Beltrán (1999-02-03) 3 February 1999 (age 20) 5 0   Celta Vigo
10 3MF Dani Olmo (Captain) (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 21) 14 6   Dinamo Zagreb
12 3MF Oihan Sancet (2000-04-15) 15 April 2000 (age 19) 1 0   Athletic Club
14 3MF Pepelu (1998-08-11) 11 August 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Tondela
16 3MF Gonzalo Villar (1998-03-23) 23 March 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Elche
20 3MF Ferrán Torres (2000-02-29) 29 February 2000 (age 19) 4 0   Valencia
21 3MF Pol Lozano (1999-10-06) 6 October 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Espanyol

9 4FW Andrés Martín (1999-07-11) 11 July 1999 (age 20) 4 0   Rayo Vallecano
11 4FW Ansu Fati (2002-10-31) 31 October 2002 (age 17) 1 0   Barcelona
19 4FW Dani Gómez (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Tenerife

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 Iñaki Peña (1999-03-02) 2 March 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Barcelona B v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019

DF José Amo (1998-04-09) 9 April 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Sevilla v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019
DF Pedro Porro (1999-09-13) 13 September 1999 (age 20) 3 0   Valladolid v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019

MF Óscar RodríguezINJ (1998-06-28) 28 June 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Leganés v.   Germany, 10 October 2019
MF Carles Aleñá (1998-01-05) 5 January 1998 (age 21) 2 0   Barcelona v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019
MF Manu Morlanes (1999-01-12) 12 January 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Villarreal v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019
MF Oriol Busquets (1999-01-20) 20 January 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Twente v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019

FW Carles PérezINJ (1998-02-16) 16 February 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Barcelona v.   Germany, 10 October 2019
FW Javi Puado (1998-05-25) 25 May 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Espanyol v.   Montenegro, 10 September 2019
FW Abel Ruiz (2000-01-28) 28 January 2000 (age 19) 1 0   Barcelona B v.   Montenegro, 10 September 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.

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.

External linksEdit