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])
Association Royal Spanish Football Federation
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Albert Celades (2014–)
Most caps Iker Muniain (31)
Top scorer Rodrigo (15)
FIFA code ESP
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
Appearances 12 (First in 1982)
Best result Winners (1986, 1998, 2011, 2013)
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 biannual 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 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.

Competitive record[edit]

UEFA European Under-21 Championship record[edit]

Year Round GP W D* L GS GA
Europe1978 Qualifying Stage 4 2 0 2 5 8
Europe1980 Qualifying Stage 4 1 2 1 4 2
Europe1982 Quarter-Finals 6 5 0 1 14 5
Europe1984 Runners-up 10 5 2 3 11 11
Europe1986 Champions 10 7 1 2 18 9
Europe1988 Quarter-Finals 8 4 2 2 10 4
Europe1990 Quarter-Finals 6 4 0 2 5 4
Europe1992 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
Bulgaria 2017 Qualifying in progress 6 4 1 1 16 8
Total 12/20 199 138 31 30 403 146

*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
European Union 1986 Manolo Sanchís
Romania 1998 Francesc Arnau
Denmark 2011 Juan Mata
Israel 2013 Thiago

Player records[edit]

Top appearances[edit]

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Caps
1 Iker Muniain Athletic Bilbao 2011–2014 31
2 David de Gea Atlético Madrid, Manchester United 2009–2013 27
2 Santiago Denia Albacete, Atlético Madrid 1992–1996 27
4 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla 2012– 26
5 Diego Capel Sevilla 2007–2011 25
5 Xavi Barcelona 1998–2001 25
7 Óscar García Barcelona, Albacete 1992–1996 24
7 Javi Martínez Athletic Bilbao 2007–2011 24
9 Martín Montoya Barcelona 2010–2013 22
9 Pablo Sarabia Getafe 2011–2014 22

Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.

Top goalscorers[edit]

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Goals
1 Rodrigo Benfica 2011–2013 15
2 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla 2012– 14
3 Álvaro Morata Real Madrid, Juventus 2013–2014 13
4 Óscar García Barcelona, Albacete 1992–1996 12
5 Isco Málaga, Real Madrid 2011–2014 10
6 Pablo Couñago Recreativo, Celta, Ipswich Town 1999–2001 9
6 Adrián Deportivo La Coruña, Málaga 2007–2011 9
8 Julen Guerrero Athletic Bilbao 1992–1994 8
8 Raúl Real Madrid 1995–1996 8
8 Jonathan Soriano Espanyol 2005 8

Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.

  • Caps and goals correct as of 24 March 2016

Recent results[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
2 September 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Tallinn, Estonia  Estonia
2 – 0
Gayà Goal 81', Deulofeu Goal 90+1' (pen.)
7 October 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Tbilisi, Georgia  Georgia
5 – 2
Munir Goal 2'73', Asensio Goal 62', Mayoral Goal 67', Ceballos Goal 90'
13 October 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Tenerife, Spain  Sweden
1 – 1
Óliver Goal 20'
12 November 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Almería, Spain  Georgia
5 – 0
Deulofeu Goal 17'33'84', Williams Goal 56', Ceballos Goal 65'
17 November 2015
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Rijeka, Croatia  Croatia
3 – 2
Deulofeu Goal 19' (pen.)54', Asensio Goal 41'
24 March 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Burgos, Spain  Croatia
0 – 3
28 March 2016
Friendly
Murcia, Spain  Norway
1 – 0
Deulofeu Goal 17'

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
1 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, Spain  San Marino
5 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, Sweden  Sweden
5 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, San Marino  San Marino
10 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
TBD, Spain  Estonia

2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Croatia 7 6 0 1 19 4 +15 18 Final tournament 1 Sep 2–3 1–0 2–1 4–0
2  Sweden 6 5 1 0 15 3 +12 16 Possible Play-offs 10 Oct 5 Sep 3–2 5–0 3–0
3  Spain 6 4 1 1 16 8 +8 13 0–3 1–1 5–0 10 Oct 1 Sep
4  Georgia (E) 8 3 0 5 14 15 −1 9 6 Sep 0–1 2–5 3–0 4–0
5  Estonia (E) 7 1 1 5 3 17 −14 4 0–4 6 Oct 0–2 1 Sep 0–0
6  San Marino (E) 8 0 1 7 1 21 −20 1 0–3 0–2 5 Oct 0–3 1–2
Updated to match(es) played on 3 June 2016. Source: UEFA
(E) Eliminated.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named in the squad for 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification match against Croatia, at 24 March 2016, and for Friendly match against Norway, at 28 March 2016.[2][3][4]

  • Caps and goals as of 28 March 2016.
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Pau (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Espanyol
13 1GK Rubén Blanco (1995-07-25) 25 July 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Celta Vigo
19 1GK Kepa Arrizabalaga (1994-10-03) 3 October 1994 (age 21) 13 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao

2 2DF Héctor Bellerín (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 21) 5 0 England Arsenal
3 2DF Rubén Duarte (1995-10-10) 10 October 1995 (age 20) 9 0 Spain Espanyol
4 2DF Aritz Elustondo (1994-03-28) 28 March 1994 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Real Sociedad
5 2DF Jonny Castro (1994-03-03) 3 March 1994 (age 22) 9 0 Spain Celta Vigo
12 2DF Javier Manquillo (1994-05-05) 5 May 1994 (age 22) 7 0 Spain Atlético Madrid
16 2DF Adrián Marín (1997-01-09) 9 January 1997 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Leganés

6 3MF Víctor Camarasa (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 (age 22) 3 0 Spain Levante
8 3MF Pablo Fornals (1996-02-22) 22 February 1996 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Málaga
10 3MF Óliver (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 21) 18 3 Spain Atlético Madrid
11 3MF Marco Asensio (1996-01-21) 21 January 1996 (age 20) 8 2 Spain Real Madrid
14 3MF Dani Ceballos (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 20) 9 2 Spain Real Betis
17 3MF Alfonso Pedraza (1996-04-09) 9 April 1996 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Lugo
20 3MF Saúl (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 21) 16 2 Spain Atlético Madrid

7 4FW Gerard Deulofeu (c) (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 (age 22) 26 14 England Everton
9 4FW Santi Mina (1995-12-07) 7 December 1995 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Valencia
15 4FW Munir El Haddadi (1995-09-01) 1 September 1995 (age 20) 11 5 Spain Barcelona
18 4FW Carlos Castro (1995-06-01) 1 June 1995 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Sporting Gijón
  • Player(s) those had been capped in senior level will be shown in italic.

Recent callups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Alejandro Remiro (1995-03-24) 24 March 1995 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Levante v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015

DF José Luis Gayà (1995-05-25) 25 May 1995 (age 21) 6 1 Spain Valencia v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
DF Jorge Meré (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 19) 4 0 Spain Sporting Gijón v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
DF Jesús Vallejo (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 19) 4 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
DF Francisco Varela (1994-10-26) 26 October 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Real Oviedo v.  Sweden, 13 October 2015

MF Matías Nahuel (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Real Betis v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
MF José Rodríguez (1994-12-16) 16 December 1994 (age 21) 6 0 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
MF Denis Suárez (1994-01-06) 6 January 1994 (age 22) 9 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015

FW Iñaki Williams (1994-06-15) 15 June 1994 (age 22) 4 1 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Croatia, 17 November 2015
FW Samu Castillejo (1995-01-18) 18 January 1995 (age 21) 4 0 Spain Villarreal v.  Sweden, 13 October 2015
FW Borja Mayoral (1997-04-05) 5 April 1997 (age 19) 2 1 Germany Wolfsburg v.  Sweden, 13 October 2015

Former squads[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]