Spain national under-21 football team

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Spain Under-21
Nickname(s)La Rojita (The Little Red [One])
AssociationRoyal Spanish Football Federation
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachSanti Denia
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 Spain 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 Qualified
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]

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
3 September 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Skopje, North Macedonia  North Macedonia 1–0 Hugo Duro 84' (pen.)
8 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Tórsvøllur, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 2–0 Brahim Díaz 51', 90+1'
13 October 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Alcorcón, Spain  Kazakhstan 3–0 Guillamón 65', Dani Gómez 71', 85'
12 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain  Faroe Islands 2–0 Pedrosa 67', Roberto López 87'
17 November 2020 2021 UEFA U-21 qualification Marbella, Spain  Israel 3–0 Roberto López 65' (pen.), Barrenetxea 75', Moncayola 89'
24 March 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 group stage Maribor, Slovenia  Slovenia 3–0 Puado 53', Gonzalo Villar 54', Miranda 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 69', 78'
31 May 2021 2021 UEFA U-21 quarter-finals Maribor, Slovenia  Croatia 2–1 Puado 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 13', 54', Pino 47', 86'
7 September 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Vilnius, Lithuania  Lithuania 2–0 Francés 32', Pino 78'
8 October 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Seville, Spain  Slovakia 3–2 Guillamón 58', Sergio Gómez 80' (pen.), Miranda 88' (pen.)
12 October 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Seville, Spain  Northern Ireland 3–0 Sergio Gómez 26' (pen.), 32', Abel Ruiz 56'
12 November 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Ta' Qali, Malta  Malta 5–0 Sergio Gómez 23', Abel Ruiz 24', 88', Guillamón 40', Lobete 50'
16 November 2021 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Khimki, Russia  Russia 0–1
25 March 2022 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Huelva, Spain  Lithuania 8–0 Rodri 16', 37', Sergio Gómez 35', Bryan Gil 40', Abel Ruiz 43', Manu Sánchez 61', Baena 65', Turrientes 70'
29 March 2022 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Žilina, Slovakia  Slovakia 3–2 Bryan Gil 4', Sergio Gómez 66', Navarro 81'
3 June 2022 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Larne, Northern Ireland  Northern Ireland 6–0 Ruiz 22', Gil 50', 61', Miranda 64', Riquelme 76', V. Gómez 87'
7 June 2022 2023 UEFA U-21 qualification Melilla, Spain  Malta 7–1 Navarro 8', 69', Ruiz 8 47', 64', Manu Sánchez 55', Lobete 73', 78'
23 September 2022 Friendly Cluj-Napoca, Romania  Romania 4–1 Ruiz 8', 18', Riquelme 80', 89'
27 September 2022 Friendly Huesca, Spain  Norway 3–0 Gragera 40', Ruiz 51', Novoa 90'
18 November 2022 Friendly Seville, Spain  Japan 2–0 Turrientes 47', Manu Sánchez 69'

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent

2023 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Group phase[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Spain 8 8 0 0 37 5 +32 24 Final tournament 3–2 3–0 8–0 7–1 4–1
2  Slovakia 8 5 0 3 18 10 +8 15 Play-offs 2–3 2–1 3–1 4–0 Canc.
3  Northern Ireland 8 2 1 5 8 18 −10 7 0–6 1–0 4–0 0–2 Canc.
4  Lithuania 8 2 1 5 7 22 −15 7 0–2 0–2 1–1 2–1 0–3
5  Malta 8 2 0 6 10 25 −15 6 0–5 1–3 4–1 1–3 Canc.
6  Russia[a] 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Disqualified 1–0 3–0 1–0 Canc. 6–0
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ On 28 February 2022, FIFA and UEFA suspended Russian national teams from all competitions due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[2] On 2 May 2022, UEFA declared all of their results to be null and void.[3]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

  • The following players were called up for the friendly match.[4]
  • Match dates: 18 November 2022
  • Opposition:  Japan
  • Caps and goals correct as of: 18 November 2022, after the match against  Japan.
No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Julen Agirrezabala (2000-12-26) 26 December 2000 (age 22) 5 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
1GK Leo Román (2000-07-06) 6 July 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Mallorca
1GK Arnau Tenas (2001-05-30) 30 May 2001 (age 21) 6 0 Spain Barcelona

2DF José Ángel Carmona (2002-01-29) 29 January 2002 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Sevilla
2DF Arnau Comas (2000-04-11) 11 April 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Switzerland Basel
2DF Mario Gila (2000-08-29) 29 August 2000 (age 22) 3 0 Italy Lazio
2DF Sergio Gómez (2000-09-04) 4 September 2000 (age 22) 12 6 England Manchester City
2DF Arnau Martínez (2003-04-25) 25 April 2003 (age 19) 3 0 Spain Girona
2DF Jon Pacheco (2001-01-09) 9 January 2001 (age 22) 7 0 Spain Real Sociedad
2DF Manu Sánchez (2000-08-24) 24 August 2000 (age 22) 6 3 Spain Osasuna

3MF Nico González (2002-01-03) 3 January 2002 (age 21) 6 0 Spain Valencia
3MF Aimar Oroz (2001-11-27) 27 November 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Osasuna
3MF Rodri Sánchez (2000-05-16) 16 May 2000 (age 22) 9 2 Spain Betis
3MF Pablo Torre (2003-04-03) 3 April 2003 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Barcelona
3MF Beñat Turrientes (2002-01-31) 31 January 2002 (age 21) 11 2 Spain Real Sociedad
3MF Gabri Veiga (2002-05-27) 27 May 2002 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Celta Vigo

4FW Álex Baena (2001-07-20) 20 July 2001 (age 21) 4 1 Spain Villarreal
4FW Sergio Camello (2001-02-10) 10 February 2001 (age 21) 7 0 Spain Rayo Vallecano
4FW Bryan Gil (2001-02-11) 11 February 2001 (age 21) 14 4 England Tottenham Hotspur
4FW Hugo Novoa (2003-01-24) 24 January 2003 (age 20) 4 1 Germany RB Leipzig
4FW Rodrigo Riquelme (2000-04-02) 2 April 2000 (age 22) 7 3 Spain Girona
4FW Abel Ruiz (2000-01-28) 28 January 2000 (age 23) 18 10 Portugal Braga

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months are still eligible for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Miguel Morro (2000-09-11) 11 September 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Rayo Vallecano B v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
GK Joan García (2001-05-04) 4 May 2001 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Espanyol v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022

DF Alejandro Balde (2003-10-18) 18 October 2003 (age 19) 2 0 Spain Barcelona v.  Japan, 18 November 2022
DF Víctor Gómez (2000-04-01) 1 April 2000 (age 22) 4 1 Spain Málaga v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Juan Miranda (2000-01-19) 19 January 2000 (age 23) 14 3 Spain Betis v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Alejandro Francés (2002-08-01) 1 August 2002 (age 20) 9 1 Spain Zaragoza v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Urko González de Zárate (2001-03-20) 20 March 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Guille Rosas (2000-05-17) 17 May 2000 (age 22) 2 0 Spain Sporting Gijón v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Víctor Chust (2000-03-05) 5 March 2000 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Cádiz v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
DF Sergio Carreira (2000-10-13) 13 October 2000 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Villarreal B v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022
DF Raúl Torrente (2001-03-01) 1 March 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Spain Granada v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022

MF Unai Vencedor (2000-11-15) 15 November 2000 (age 22) 8 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF Julen Lobete (2000-09-18) 18 September 2000 (age 22) 5 3 Netherlands RKC Waalwijk v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF Jon Ander Olasagasti (2000-08-16) 16 August 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF José Gragera (2000-11-30) 30 November 2000 (age 22) 3 0 Spain Sporting Gijón v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF Robert Navarro (2002-04-12) 12 April 2002 (age 20) 3 3 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF Adrián Bernabé (2001-05-26) 26 May 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Italy Parma v.  Malta, 7 June 2022
MF Antonio Blanco (2000-07-23) 23 July 2000 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Cádiz v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022
MF Oihan Sancet (2000-04-25) 25 April 2000 (age 22) 4 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Lithuania, 25 March 2022 INJ

FW Jon Karrikaburu (2002-09-19) 19 September 2002 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Real Sociedad B v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022
FW Sergio Gómez (2000-09-04) 4 September 2000 (age 22) 8 6 England Manchester City v.  Slovakia, 29 March 2022 INJ
FW Nico Williams (2002-07-12) 12 July 2002 (age 20) 5 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao v.  Lithuania, 25 March 2022

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. ^ "FIFA/UEFA suspend Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions". fifa.com. FIFA. 28 February 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  3. ^ "UEFA decisions for upcoming competitions relating to the ongoing suspension of Russian national teams and clubs". uefa.com. UEFA. 2 May 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  4. ^ "De la Fuente da la lista para el amistoso ante Japón" (in Spanish). Real Federación Española de Fútbol. 11 November 2022. Retrieved 18 November 2022.

External links[edit]