Open main menu

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)
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 four times and runners-up twice); having consecutively won the 2011 and 2013 Championships. Only Italy with five titles has won the competition more often than Spain.

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. Most important club which delivered the team's players for this tournament was FC Twente from the Netherlands.

Contents

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
Total 13/21 210 145 34 31 431 151

*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

Player recordsEdit

Top appearancesEdit

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Caps
1 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla, Milan 2012–2017 36
2 Iker Muniain Athletic Bilbao 2011–2014 31
3 Jorge Meré Sporting Gijón, FC Köln 2015– 28
4 Santiago Denia Albacete, Atlético Madrid 1992–1996 27
  David de Gea Atlético Madrid, Manchester United 2009–2013 27
6 Borja Mayoral Real Madrid, VfL Wolfsburg, Levante 2015– 26
7 Xavi Barcelona 1998–2001 25
  Diego Capel Sevilla 2007–2011 25
  Saúl Atlético Madrid, Rayo Vallecano 2013–2017 25
10 Dani Ceballos Betis, Real Madrid 2015– 24
  Óscar Barcelona, Albacete 1992–1996 24
  Javi Martínez Athletic Bilbao 2007–2011 24
  Óliver Atlético Madrid, Villarreal, Porto 2013–2016 24

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 Rodrigo Benfica 2011–2013 15
3 Isco Málaga, Real Madrid 2011–2014 14
  Borja Mayoral Real Madrid, VfL Wolfsburg, Levante 2015– 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 25 March 2019

Recent resultsEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
23 March 2017 Friendly Murcia, Spain   Denmark 3–1 Merino   22', Saúl   70', Suárez   81'
27 March 2017 Friendly Rome, Italy   Italy 2–1 Saúl   34', Mayoral   38'
17 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Gdynia, Poland   North Macedonia 5–0 Saúl   10', Asensio   16'54'72', Deulofeu   35' (pen.)
20 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Gdynia, Poland   Portugal 3–1 Saúl   21', Sandro   65', Williams   90+3'
23 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Bydgoszcz, Poland   Serbia 1–0 Suárez   38'
27 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 semifinals Kraków, Poland   Italy 3–1 Saúl   53'65'74'
30 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 Final Kraków, Poland   Germany 0–1
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'

Forthcoming fixturesEdit

Date Competition Location Opponent

2019 UEFA European Under-21 ChampionshipEdit

Group phaseEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification            
1   Spain 10 9 0 1 31 10 +21 27 Final tournament 1–2 5–1 1–0 3–0 3–1
2   Northern Ireland 10 6 2 2 15 11 +4 20 3–5 1–0 0–0 1–0 4–2
3   Slovakia 10 6 0 4 17 18 −1 18 1–4 1–0 0–2 4–1 2–0
4   Iceland 10 3 2 5 16 19 −3 11 2–7 0–1 2–3 2–3 5–2
5   Albania 10 1 4 5 9 17 −8 7 0–1 1–1 2–3 0–0 0–0
6   Estonia 10 0 2 8 11 24 −13 2 0–1 1–2 1–2 2–3 2–2
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players were named in the squad for friendly matches against Romania and Austria, at 21 and 25 March 2019.[2]
All caps and goals as of 25 March 2019.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Antonio Sivera (1996-08-11) 11 August 1996 (age 22) 6 0   Alavés
13 1GK Unai Simón (1997-06-11) 11 June 1997 (age 21) 9 0   Athletic Bilbao
23 1GK Dani Martín (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 20) 0 0   Sporting Gijón

2 2DF Sergi Palencia (1996-03-23) 23 March 1996 (age 23) 2 0   Bordeaux
3 2DF Aarón Martín (1997-04-22) 22 April 1997 (age 22) 10 0   Mainz
4 2DF Jorge Meré (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 22) 28 3   1. FC Köln
5 2DF Jesús Vallejo (Captain) (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 22) 18 0   Real Madrid
12 2DF Sergio Reguilón (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 (age 22) 1 0   Real Madrid
15 2DF Jorge Sáenz (1996-11-18) 18 November 1996 (age 22) 4 0   Tenerife
16 2DF Pau Torres (1997-01-16) 16 January 1997 (age 22) 1 0   Málaga
22 2DF Pedro Porro (1999-09-13) 13 September 1999 (age 19) 2 0   Girona

6 3MF Igor Zubeldia (1997-03-30) 30 March 1997 (age 22) 3 0   Real Sociedad
7 3MF Carlos Soler (1997-01-02) 2 January 1997 (age 22) 16 4   Valencia
8 3MF Mikel Merino (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 22) 15 4   Real Sociedad
10 3MF Pablo Fornals (1996-02-22) 22 February 1996 (age 23) 12 0   Villarreal
11 3MF Mikel Oyarzabal (1997-04-21) 21 April 1997 (age 22) 20 6   Real Sociedad
14 3MF Carles Aleñá (1998-01-05) 5 January 1998 (age 21) 1 0   Barcelona
17 3MF Alfonso Pedraza (1996-04-08) 8 April 1996 (age 23) 13 0   Villarreal
21 3MF Marc Roca (1996-11-26) 26 November 1996 (age 22) 4 1   Espanyol

9 4FW Borja Mayoral (1997-04-05) 5 April 1997 (age 22) 26 14   Levante
18 4FW Rafa Mir (1997-06-18) 18 June 1997 (age 21) 8 5   Las Palmas
19 4FW Dani Olmo (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 21) 6 0   Dinamo Zagreb
20 4FW Manu Vallejo (1997-02-14) 14 February 1997 (age 22) 2 0   Cádiz

Recent callupsEdit

The following players have been called up for the team within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Iván Villar (1997-07-09) 9 July 1997 (age 21) 0 0   Celta v.   France, 19 November 2018
GK Juan Soriano (1997-08-23) 23 August 1997 (age 21) 1 0   Sevilla v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

DF Unai Núñez (1997-01-30) 30 January 1997 (age 22) 10 0   Athletic Bilbao v.   France, 19 November 2018
DF Angeliño (1997-01-04) 4 January 1997 (age 22) 2 0   PSV Eindhoven v.   France, 19 November 2018
DF Martín Aguirregabiria (1996-05-10) 10 May 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Alavés v.   France, 19 November 2018
DF Pol Lirola (1997-08-13) 13 August 1997 (age 21) 2 0   Sassuolo v.   Iceland, 16 October 2018
DF Pablo Maffeo (1997-07-12) 12 July 1997 (age 21) 5 0   Stuttgart v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018
DF Francis Guerrero (1996-04-03) 3 April 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Betis v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018
DF Junior Firpo (1996-08-22) 22 August 1996 (age 22) 1 0   Betis v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

MF Fabián Ruiz (1996-04-03) 3 April 1996 (age 23) 10 3   Napoli v.   France, 19 November 2018
MF Pape Cheikh Diop (1997-08-08) 8 August 1997 (age 21) 3 0   Lyon v.   France, 19 November 2018
MF Álex Pozo (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Granada v.   France, 19 November 2018
MF José Ángel Pozo (1996-03-15) 15 March 1996 (age 23) 1 0   Rayo Vallecano v.   France, 19 November 2018
MF Fran Beltrán (1999-02-03) 3 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0   Celta v.   Denmark, 14 November 2018
MF Brais Méndez (1997-01-07) 7 January 1997 (age 22) 2 0   Celta v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

FW Carlos Fernández (1996-05-22) 22 May 1996 (age 22) 3 0   Deportivo La Coruña v.   France, 19 November 2018
FW Jordi Mboula (1999-03-16) 16 March 1999 (age 20) 0 0   Monaco v.   Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018
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.
  2. ^ "Estos son los internacionales que disputarán los amistosos ante Rumania y Austria" (in Spanish). Royal Spanish Football Federation. 15 March 2018.

External linksEdit