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
CaptainBryan Gil
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 strong 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 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 15 11 2 2 43 12
Italy 2019 Champions 15 13 0 2 45 16
HungarySlovenia 2021 Semifinals 15 12 2 1 27 3
RomaniaGeorgia (country) 2023
Total 15/23 238 170 34 34 502 169

*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 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 Santi 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 3 September 2020.

Recent results[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
10 October 2019 Friendly Córdoba, Spain  Germany 1–1 Manu García Goal 10'
15 October 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Podgorica, Montenegro  Montenegro 2–0 Buñuel Goal 34', Cucurella Goal 62'
14 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain  North Macedonia 3–0 Manu García Goal 7', Serafimov Goal 47' (o.g.), Pedrosa Goal 87'
19 November 2019 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Ramat Gan, Israel  Israel 1–1 Óscar Goal 50'
3 September 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Skopje, North Macedonia  North Macedonia 1–0 Hugo Duro Goal 84' (pen.)
8 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Tórsvøllur, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 2–0 Brahim Díaz Goal 51'90+1'
13 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain  Kazakhstan 3–0 Guillamón Goal 65', Dani Gómez Goal 71'85'
12 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain  Faroe Islands 2–0 Pedrosa Goal 67', Roberto López Goal 87'
17 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain  Israel 3–0 Roberto López Goal 65' (pen.), Barrenetxea Goal 75', Moncayola Goal 89'
24 March 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 group stage Maribor, Slovenia  Slovenia 3–0 Puado Goal 53', Gonzalo Villar Goal 54', Miranda Goal 89'
27 March 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 group stage Maribor, Slovenia  Italy 0–0
30 March 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 group stage Celje, Slovenia  Czech Republic 2–0 Dani Gómez Goal 69'78'
31 May 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 quarter-finals Maribor, Slovenia  Croatia 2–1 Puado Goal 66'110'
3 June 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 semi-finals Maribor, Slovenia  Portugal 0–1
3 September 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Almendralejo, Spain  Russia 4–1 Fer Niño Goal 13'54', Pino Goal 47'86'
7 September 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Vilnius, Lithuania  Lithuania 2–0 Francés Goal 32', Pino Goal 78'
8 October 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Seville, Spain  Slovakia 3–2 Guillamón Goal 58', Sergio Gómez Goal 80' (pen.), Miranda Goal 88' (pen.)
12 October 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Seville, Spain  Northern Ireland 3–0 Sergio Gómez Goal 26' (pen.)32', Abel Ruiz Goal 56'

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent
12 November 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta
16 November 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Khimki, Russia  Russia

2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Group phase[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 4 4 0 0 12 3 +9 12 Final tournament 4–1 3–2 7 Jun '22 25 Mar '22 3–0
2  Russia 4 3 0 1 11 4 +7 9 Play-offs 16 Nov 12 Nov 6–0 3 Jun '22 1–0
3  Slovakia 4 2 0 2 9 5 +4 6 29 Mar '22 7 Jun '22 4–0 3–1 25 Mar '22
4  Malta 4 1 0 3 5 13 −8 3 12 Nov 25 Mar '22 3 Jun '22 29 Mar '22 4–1
5  Lithuania 4 1 0 3 3 9 −6 3 0–2 0–3 16 Nov 2–1 7 Jun '22
6  Northern Ireland 4 1 0 3 2 8 −6 3 3 Jun '22 29 Mar '22 1–0 16 Nov 12 Nov
Updated to match(es) played on 12 October 2021. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

Players[edit]

The following players were called up for the 2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying matches against Slovakia and Northern Ireland, from 8 to 12 October 2021.[2]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Julen Agirrezabala (2000-12-26) 26 December 2000 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
1GK Joan García (2001-05-04) 4 May 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Spain Espanyol B
1GK Gaizka Ayesa (2001-04-02) 2 April 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Spain Real Sociedad B

2DF Víctor Gómez (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Málaga
2DF Sergio Carreira (2000-10-13) 13 October 2000 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Mirandés
2DF Alejandro Francés (2002-08-01) 1 August 2002 (age 19) 4 1 Spain Zaragoza
2DF José Fontán (2000-02-11) 11 February 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Celta Vigo
2DF Víctor Chust (2000-03-05) 5 March 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Cádiz
2DF Hugo Guillamón (captain) (2000-01-31) 31 January 2000 (age 21) 11 2 Spain Valencia
2DF Juan Miranda (2000-01-19) 19 January 2000 (age 21) 11 2 Spain Betis
2DF Miguel Gutiérrez (2001-07-27) 27 July 2001 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Real Madrid

3MF Unai Vencedor (2000-11-15) 15 November 2000 (age 20) 4 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
3MF Nico González (2002-01-03) 3 January 2002 (age 19) 2 0 Spain Barcelona B
3MF Beñat Turrientes (2002-01-31) 31 January 2002 (age 19) 4 0 Spain Real Sociedad B
3MF Gaspar Campos (2000-03-27) 27 March 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Sporting Gijón
3MF Antonio Blanco (2000-07-23) 23 July 2000 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Real Madrid
3MF Rodri Sánchez (2000-05-16) 16 May 2000 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Betis
3MF Nico Melamed (2001-04-11) 11 April 2001 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Espanyol
3MF Raúl Moro (2002-12-05) 5 December 2002 (age 18) 1 0 Italy Lazio

4FW Nico Williams (2002-07-12) 12 July 2002 (age 19) 4 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
4FW Sergio Gómez (2000-09-04) 4 September 2000 (age 21) 4 3 Belgium Anderlecht
4FW Abel Ruiz (2000-01-28) 28 January 2000 (age 21) 9 1 Portugal Braga
4FW Fer Niño (2000-10-24) 24 October 2000 (age 20) 5 2 Spain Mallorca

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team within the last twelve months and are still eligible to represent.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Arnau Tenas (2001-05-30) 30 May 2001 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Barcelona B v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021

DF Urko González de Zárate (2001-03-20) 20 March 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Slovakia, 8 October 2021INJ
DF Guille Rosas (2000-05-17) 17 May 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Sporting Gijón v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
DF Mateu Morey (2000-03-02) 2 March 2000 (age 21) 0 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund UEFA EURO U21, 19 March 2021 INJ
DF Manu Sánchez (2000-08-24) 24 August 2000 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Osasuna v.  Israel, 17 November 2020

MF Francho Serrano (2001-10-17) 17 October 2001 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Zaragoza v.  Northern Ireland, 12 October 2021 INJ
MF Roberto López (2000-04-24) 24 April 2000 (age 21) 3 2 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
MF Oihan Sancet (2000-04-25) 25 April 2000 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Russia, 3 September 2021 INJ
MF Pedri (2002-11-25) 25 November 2002 (age 18) 4 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Israel, 17 November 2020

FW Bryan Gil (2001-02-11) 11 February 2001 (age 20) 7 0 England Tottenham Hotspur v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
FW Yeremi Pino (2002-10-20) 20 October 2002 (age 18) 6 3 Spain Villarreal v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
FW Ander Barrenetxea (2001-12-27) 27 December 2001 (age 19) 5 1 Spain Real Sociedad v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
FW Iván Azón (2002-12-24) 24 December 2002 (age 18) 1 0 Spain Zaragoza v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
FW Jon Karrikaburu (2002-09-19) 19 September 2002 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Lithuania, 7 September 2021
FW Rober (2001-01-06) 6 January 2001 (age 20) 0 0 Spain Betis v.  Russia, 3 September 2021 INJ
Notes

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. ^ OFICIAL | Lista de convocados de la Selección española Sub-21 para la Fase de Clasificación para la EURO 2023. SEFútbol (in Spanish). 30 September 2021. Retrieved 1 October 2021.

External links[edit]