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 & Gerard Deulofeu (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 Gerard Deulofeu Barcelona, Everton, Sevilla 2012– 28
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
9 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– 15
  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
6 Pablo Couñago Recreativo, Celta, Ipswich Town 1999–2001 9
  Adrián Deportivo La Coruña, Málaga 2007–2011 9
8 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 5 September 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'

Forthcoming fixtures[edit]

Date Competition Location Opponent Result Scorers
5 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino
10 October 2016
2017 UEFA U-21 qualification
Pontevedra, Spain  Estonia

2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship[edit]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Croatia 9 6 2 1 22 7 +15 20 Final tournament 1–1 2–3 1–0 2–1 4–0
2  Sweden 8 5 3 0 17 5 +12 18 Possible Play-offs 10 Oct 1–1 3–2 5–0 3–0
3  Spain 8 5 2 1 23 9 +14 17 0–3 1–1 5–0 10 Oct 6–0
4  Georgia (E) 10 4 1 5 17 17 0 13 2–2 0–1 2–5 3–0 4–0
5  Estonia (E) 8 1 1 6 3 18 −15 4 0–4 6 Oct 0–2 0–1 0–0
6  San Marino (E) 9 0 1 8 1 27 −26 1 0–3 0–2 5 Oct 0–3 1–2
Updated to match(es) played on 6 September 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 matches against San Marino, at 5 October 2016, and Estonia, at 10 October 2016.

  • Caps and goals as of 5 September 2016.
0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Kepa Arrizabalaga (1994-10-03) 3 October 1994 (age 21) 14 0 Spain Athletic Bilbao
13 1GK Rubén Blanco (1995-07-25) 25 July 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Spain Celta
19 1GK Álex Remiro (1995-03-24) 24 March 1995 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Levante

2 2DF Héctor Bellerín (1995-03-19) 19 March 1995 (age 21) 7 0 England Arsenal
3 2DF José Luis Gayà (1995-05-25) 25 May 1995 (age 21) 7 1 Spain Valencia
4 2DF Jorge Meré (1997-04-17) 17 April 1997 (age 19) 6 0 Spain Sporting Gijón
5 2DF Jonny Castro (1994-03-03) 3 March 1994 (age 22) 10 0 Spain Celta Vigo
12 2DF Jesús Vallejo (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 19) 4 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
14 2DF Álex Grimaldo (1995-09-20) 20 September 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Portugal Benfica

6 3MF Mikel Merino (1996-06-22) 22 June 1996 (age 20) 2 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund
8 3MF Marco Asensio (1996-01-21) 21 January 1996 (age 20) 8 2 Spain Real Madrid
10 3MF Óliver Torres (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 21) 20 3 Portugal Porto
11 3MF Denis Suárez (1994-01-06) 6 January 1994 (age 22) 11 0 Spain Barcelona
15 3MF Dani Ceballos (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 20) 9 2 Spain Betis
20 3MF Marcos Llorente (1995-01-30) 30 January 1995 (age 21) 0 0 Spain Alavés

7 4FW Gerard Deulofeu (c) (1994-03-13) 13 March 1994 (age 22) 28 15 England Everton
9 4FW Munir El Haddadi (1995-09-01) 1 September 1995 (age 21) 13 7 Spain Valencia
16 4FW Samu Castillejo (1995-01-18) 18 January 1995 (age 21) 4 0 Spain Villarreal
17 4FW Iñaki Williams (1994-06-15) 15 June 1994 (age 22) 6 2 Spain Athletic Bilbao
18 4FW Borja Mayoral (1997-04-05) 5 April 1997 (age 19) 3 1 Germany Wolfsburg
  • 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 Pau López (1994-12-13) 13 December 1994 (age 21) 2 0 England Tottenham v.  Sweden, 5 September 2016

DF Diego González (1995-01-28) 28 January 1995 (age 21) 1 1 Spain Sevilla v.  Sweden, 5 September 2016
DF Rubén Duarte (1995-10-28) 28 October 1995 (age 20) 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
DF Javier Manquillo (1994-05-05) 5 May 1994 (age 22) 7 0 England Sunderland v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016
DF Adrián Marín (1997-01-09) 9 January 1997 (age 19) 1 0 Spain Leganés v.  Croatia, 24 March 2016

MF Saúl Ñíguez (1994-11-21) 21 November 1994 (age 21) 17 2 Spain Atlético Madrid v.  Sweden, 5 September 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
MF Matías Nahuel (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 19) 1 0 Spain 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

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]