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 Gerard Deulofeu (32)
Top scorer Gerard Deulofeu (16)
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 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 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
Poland 2017 Qualified to phase final 12 7 4 1 32 10
Total 13/21 205 141 34 30 419 148

*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 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla 2012– 32
2 Iker Muniain Athletic Bilbao 2011–2014 31
3 David de Gea Atlético Madrid, Manchester United 2009–2013 27
  Santiago Denia Albacete, Atlético Madrid 1992–1996 27
5 Diego Capel Sevilla 2007–2011 25
  Xavi Barcelona 1998–2001 25
7 Óscar García Barcelona, Albacete 1992–1996 24
  Javi Martínez Athletic Bilbao 2007–2011 24
  Óliver Torres Atlético Madrid, Villarreal, Porto 2013– 24
10 Martín Montoya Barcelona 2010–2013 22
  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 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla 2012– 16
2 Rodrigo Benfica 2011–2013 15
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
  Munir El Haddadi Barcelona, Valencia 2014– 10
7 Pablo Couñago Recreativo, Celta, Ipswich Town 1999–2001 9
  Adrián Deportivo La Coruña, Málaga 2007–2011 9
9 Julen Guerrero Athletic Bilbao 1992–1994 8
  Raúl Real Madrid 1995–1996 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 15 November 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'
1 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Castellón, Spain  San Marino
6 – 0
D. González Goal 14', Munir Goal 17'36', Santi Mina Goal 45'84', Williams Goal 88'
5 September 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Malmö, Sweden  Sweden
1 – 1
Deulofeu Goal 50'
5 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino
3 – 0
Munir Goal 16', Denis Suárez Goal 68', Meré Goal 79'
10 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Pontevedra, Spain  Estonia
5 – 0
Denis Suárez Goal 36', Asensio Goal 38'90', Munir Goal 86'90+3'
11 November 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification play-offs
Sankt Pölten, Austria  Austria
1 – 1
Deulofeu Goal 45+2' (pen.)
15 November 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification play-offs
Albacete, Spain  Austria
0 – 0

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers

2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Group phase[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Sweden 10 7 3 0 24 7 +17 24 Final tournament 1–1 4–2 3–2 5–0 3–0
2  Spain 10 7 2 1 31 9 +22 23 Play-offs 1–1 0–3 5–0 5–0 6–0
3  Croatia 10 6 2 2 24 11 +13 20 1–1 2–3 1–0 2–1 4–0
4  Georgia 10 4 1 5 17 17 0 13 0–1 2–5 2–2 3–0 4–0
5  Estonia 10 1 1 8 3 26 −23 4 0–3 0–2 0–4 0–1 0–0
6  San Marino 10 0 1 9 1 30 −29 1 0–2 0–3 0–3 0–3 1–2
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Play-offs[edit]

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Austria  1—1  Spain 1—1 0—0

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were named in the squad for 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification play-offs against Austria, at 11 and 15 November 2016.

  • Caps and goals as of 15 November 2016.
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Kepa Arrizabalaga (1994-10-03) 3 October 1994 (age 22) 18 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
13 1GK Pau López (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 21) 2 0 England Tottenham
19 1GK Rubén Blanco (1995-07-25) 25 July 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Celta

2 2DF Jonny Castro (1994-03-03) 3 March 1994 (age 22) 13 0 Spain Celta Vigo
3 2DF José Luis Gayà (1995-05-25) 25 May 1995 (age 21) 11 1 Spain Valencia
4 2DF Jorge Meré (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 19) 10 1 Spain Sporting Gijón
5 2DF Jesús Vallejo (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 19) 7 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
12 2DF Javier Manquillo (1994-05-05) 5 May 1994 (age 22) 7 0 England Sunderland
14 2DF Diego González (1995-01-28) 28 January 1995 (age 21) 1 1 Spain Sevilla
20 2DF Aarón Martín Caricol (1997-04-22) 22 April 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Spain Espanyol

6 3MF Mikel Merino (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 20) 4 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund
8 3MF Saúl Ñíguez (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 22) 19 2 Spain Atlético Madrid
10 3MF Óliver Torres (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 22) 24 3 Portugal Porto
11 3MF Denis Suárez (1994-01-06) 6 January 1994 (age 22) 15 2 Spain Barcelona
15 3MF Marcos Llorente (1995-01-30) 30 January 1995 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Alavés
16 3MF Marco Asensio (1996-01-21) 21 January 1996 (age 20) 12 4 Spain Real Madrid
21 3MF Mikel Oyarzabal (1997-04-21) 21 April 1997 (age 19) 0 0 Spain Real Sociedad

7 4FW Gerard Deulofeu (c) (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 (age 22) 32 16 England Everton
9 4FW Borja Mayoral (1997-04-05) 5 April 1997 (age 19) 7 1 Germany Wolfsburg
17 4FW Munir El Haddadi (1995-09-01) 1 September 1995 (age 21) 16 10 Spain Valencia
18 4FW Iñaki Williams (1994-06-15) 15 June 1994 (age 22) 10 2 Spain Athletic Bilbao
  • 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 Álex Remiro (1995-03-24) 24 March 1995 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Levante v.  Estonia, 10 October 2016

DF Héctor Bellerín (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 21) 9 0 England Arsenal v.  Estonia, 10 October 2016
DF Adrián Marín (1997-01-09) 9 January 1997 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Leganés v.  Estonia, 10 October 2016
DF Álex Grimaldo (1995-09-20) 20 September 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Portugal Benfica v.  San Marino, 5 October 2016
DF Rubén Duarte (1995-10-28) 28 October 1995 (age 21) 9 0 Spain Espanyol v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016
DF Aritz Elustondo (1994-03-28) 28 March 1994 (age 22) 1 0 Spain Real Sociedad v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016

MF Dani Ceballos (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 20) 11 2 Spain Betis v.  Estonia, 10 October 2016
MF Sergi Samper (1995-01-20) 20 January 1995 (age 21) 3 0 Spain Granada v.  Sweden, 5 September 2016
MF Víctor Camarasa (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 (age 22) 3 0 Spain Alavés v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016
MF Pablo Fornals (1996-02-22) 22 February 1996 (age 20) 1 0 Spain Málaga v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016
MF Alfonso Pedraza (1996-04-09) 9 April 1996 (age 20) 2 0 Spain Lugo v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016

FW Samu Castillejo (1995-01-18) 18 January 1995 (age 21) 4 0 Spain Villarreal v.  Estonia, 10 October 2016
FW Santi Mina (1995-12-07) 7 December 1995 (age 20) 3 3 Spain Valencia v.  Sweden, 5 September 2016

Former squads[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]