Spain national under-21 football team

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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

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.

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

Competitive record[edit]

UEFA European Under-21 Championship Record[edit]

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
France 1994 Third Place 12 9 2 1 21 9
Spain 1996 Runners-up 14 10 3 1 34 14
Romania 1998 Champions 11 10 1 0 21 6
Slovakia 2000 Third Place 14 11 3 0 31 7
Switzerland 2002 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 1 3 15 9
Germany 2004 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 2 2 17 5
Portugal 2006 Qualifying Stage 10 6 2 2 37 8
Netherlands 2007 Qualification Playoffs 4 2 1 1 8 4
Sweden 2009 Group Stage 13 10 1 2 27 7
Denmark 2011 Champions 15 12 2 1 31 8
Israel 2013 Champions 15 14 1 0 47 5
Czech Republic 2015 Qualification Playoffs 10 7 2 1 25 8
Poland 2017 Runners-up 17 11 4 2 44 13
Italy 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 awards[edit]

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

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

Player records[edit]

Top appearances[edit]

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 goalscorers[edit]

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 results[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
23 March 2017 Friendly Murcia, Spain  Denmark 3–1 Merino Goal 22', Saúl Goal 70', Suárez Goal 81'
27 March 2017 Friendly Rome, Italy  Italy 2–1 Saúl Goal 34', Mayoral Goal 38'
17 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Gdynia, Poland  North Macedonia 5–0 Saúl Goal 10', Asensio Goal 16'54'72', Deulofeu Goal 35' (pen.)
20 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Gdynia, Poland  Portugal 3–1 Saúl Goal 21', Sandro Goal 65', Williams Goal 90+3'
23 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 group stage Bydgoszcz, Poland  Serbia 1–0 Suárez Goal 38'
27 June 2017 2017 UEFA U-21 semifinals Kraków, Poland  Italy 3–1 Saúl Goal 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 Goal 23', Mayoral Goal 45+1', Meré Goal 81'
5 September 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia 1–0 Soler Goal 65'
10 October 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Poprad, Slovakia  Slovakia 4–1 Merino Goal 26', Oyarzabal Goal 49', Rodri Goal 56', Ceballos Goal 69'
9 November 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Murcia, Spain  Iceland 1–0 Fabián Goal 36'
14 November 2017 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Cartagena, Spain  Slovakia 5–1 Ceballos Goal 38'55'61', Córdoba Goal 53', Mayoral Goal 86'
22 March 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Portadown, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 5–3 Oyarzabal Goal 15'44', Mayoral Goal 47'75'84'
27 March 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Ponferrada, Spain  Estonia 3–1 Fabián Goal 8', Mayoral Goal 37'51'
6 September 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Córdoba, Spain  Albania 3–0 Oyarzabal Goal 5', Mayoral Goal 56', Mir Goal 90+2'
11 September 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Albacete, Spain  Northern Ireland 1–2 Rafa Mir Goal 90+2'
11 October 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Tirana, Albania  Albania 1–0 Rafa Mir Goal 84'
16 October 2018 2019 UEFA U-21 qualification Reykjavík, Iceland  Iceland 7–2 Oyarzabal Goal 24' (pen.), Rafa Mir Goal 25'40', Gunnarsson Goal 45+2' (o.g.), Carlos Soler Goal 54' Mayoral Goal 87', Fabián Goal 90'
14 November 2018 Friendly Logroño, Spain  Denmark 4–1 Mayoral Goal 25'32'55', Meré Goal 45'
19 November 2018 Friendly Caen, France  France 1–1 Oyarzabal Goal 10' (pen.)
21 March 2019 Friendly Granada, Spain  Romania 1–0 Merino Goal 67'
25 March 2019 Friendly Algeciras, Spain  Austria 3–0 Soler Goal 53'61', Roca Goal 81'
16 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Bologna, Italy  Italy 1–3 Ceballos Goal 9'
19 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Reggio Emilia, Italy  Belgium 2–1 Olmo Goal 7', Fornals Goal 89'
22 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 group stage Bologna, Italy  Poland 5–0 Fornals Goal 17', Oyarzabal Goal 35', Fabián Goal 39', Ceballos Goal 71', Mayoral Goal 90'
27 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 semifinals Reggio Emilia, Italy  France 4–1 Roca Goal 28', Oyarzabal Goal 45+5' (pen.), Olmo Goal 47', Mayoral Goal 66'
30 June 2019 2019 UEFA U-21 Final Udine, Italy  Germany 2–1 Fabián Goal 7', Olmo Goal 69'

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent

2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Group phase[edit]

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
Updated to match(es) played on unknown. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named in the squad for 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, from 16 to 30 June 2019.[2]
All caps and goals as of 30 June 2019 after the match against  Germany.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Antonio Sivera (1996-08-11) 11 August 1996 (age 22) 10 0 Spain Alavés
13 1GK Unai Simón (1997-06-11) 11 June 1997 (age 22) 10 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
23 1GK Dani Martín (1998-07-08) 8 July 1998 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Sporting Gijón

2 2DF Jesús Vallejo (Captain) (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 22) 22 0 Spain Real Madrid
3 2DF Aarón Martín (1997-04-22) 22 April 1997 (age 22) 12 0 Germany Mainz 05
4 2DF Jorge Meré (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 22) 31 3 Germany 1. FC Köln
5 2DF Unai Núñez (1997-01-30) 30 January 1997 (age 22) 13 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
15 2DF Martín Aguirregabiria (1996-05-10) 10 May 1996 (age 23) 6 0 Spain Alavés
16 2DF Pol Lirola (1997-08-13) 13 August 1997 (age 21) 2 0 Italy Sassuolo
20 2DF Junior Firpo (1996-08-22) 22 August 1996 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Betis

6 3MF Fabián Ruiz (1996-04-03) 3 April 1996 (age 23) 14 5 Italy Napoli
7 3MF Carlos Soler (1997-01-02) 2 January 1997 (age 22) 20 4 Spain Valencia
8 3MF Mikel Merino (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 23) 20 4 Spain Real Sociedad
10 3MF Dani Ceballos (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 22) 29 8 Spain Real Madrid
11 3MF Mikel Oyarzabal (1997-04-21) 21 April 1997 (age 22) 25 8 Spain Real Sociedad
14 3MF Igor Zubeldia (1997-03-30) 30 March 1997 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Real Sociedad
17 3MF Alfonso Pedraza (1996-04-08) 8 April 1996 (age 23) 14 0 Spain Villarreal
21 3MF Marc Roca (1996-11-26) 26 November 1996 (age 22) 7 2 Spain Espanyol
22 3MF Pablo Fornals (1996-02-22) 22 February 1996 (age 23) 16 2 England West Ham United

9 4FW Borja Mayoral (1997-04-05) 5 April 1997 (age 22) 31 16 Spain Levante
12 4FW Manu Vallejo (1997-02-14) 14 February 1997 (age 22) 3 0 Spain Cádiz
18 4FW Rafa Mir (1997-06-18) 18 June 1997 (age 22) 9 5 Spain Las Palmas
19 4FW Dani Olmo (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 21) 10 3 Croatia Dinamo Zagreb

Recent callups[edit]

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 22) 0 0 Spain Celta v.  France, 19 November 2018
GK Juan Soriano (1997-08-23) 23 August 1997 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Sevilla v.  Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

DF Pedro Porro (1999-09-13) 13 September 1999 (age 19) 2 0 Spain Girona v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
DF Sergi Palencia (1996-03-23) 23 March 1996 (age 23) 2 0 France Saint-Étienne v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
DF Sergio Reguilón (1996-12-16) 16 December 1996 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Real Madrid v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
DF Jorge Sáenz (1996-11-18) 18 November 1996 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Tenerife v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
DF Pau Torres (1997-01-16) 16 January 1997 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Málaga v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
DF Angeliño (1997-01-04) 4 January 1997 (age 22) 2 0 Netherlands PSV Eindhoven v.  France, 19 November 2018
DF Pablo Maffeo (1997-07-12) 12 July 1997 (age 22) 5 0 Germany Vfb Stuttgart v.  Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018
DF Francis Guerrero (1996-04-03) 3 April 1996 (age 23) 1 0 Spain Betis v.  Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

MF Carles Aleñá (1998-01-05) 5 January 1998 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Austria, 25 March 2019
MF Pape Cheikh Diop (1997-08-08) 8 August 1997 (age 21) 3 0 France Lyon v.  France, 19 November 2018
MF Álex Pozo (1999-02-22) 22 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Granada v.  France, 19 November 2018
MF José Ángel Pozo (1996-03-15) 15 March 1996 (age 23) 1 0 Spain Rayo Vallecano v.  France, 19 November 2018
MF Fran Beltrán (1999-02-03) 3 February 1999 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Celta v.  Denmark, 14 November 2018
MF Brais Méndez (1997-01-07) 7 January 1997 (age 22) 2 0 Spain Celta v.  Northern Ireland, 11 September 2018

FW Carlos Fernández (1996-05-22) 22 May 1996 (age 23) 3 0 Spain Deportivo La Coruña v.  France, 19 November 2018
FW Jordi Mboula (1999-03-16) 16 March 1999 (age 20) 0 0 France 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 squads[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  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 links[edit]