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The Spain national under-21 football team, is the national under-21 football team of Spainmarker and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the Real Federación Española de Fútbol. The team competes in the European Under-21 Football Championship, held every two years.

Following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions in 1976, the Spanish Under-21 team was formed. The team has a very good record - competition winners twice and runners-up twice. Only Italy have won the competition more times.

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. Actually, Spain played only three competitive U-23 matches. The first was in the "Under-23 Challenge", which they lost. 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

UEFA U-23 Championship Record

Spain were randomly chosen to play holders Yugoslavia for the title in a one-off match, which Spain lost.
  • 18 June 1969: Yugoslavia 3-0 Spain
  • 1972: Did not qualify. Finished 2nd of 2 in qualification "group".
  • 1974: Did not enter.
  • 1976: Did not enter.


UEFA European Under-21 Championship Record

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
1994 Third Place 12 9 2 1 21 9
1996 Runners-up 14 10 3 1 34 14
1998 Champions 11 10 1 0 21 6
2000 Third Place 14 11 3 0 31 7
2002 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 1 3 15 9
2004 Qualification Playoffs 10 6 2 2 17 5
2006 Qualifying Stage 10 6 2 2 37 8
2007 Qualification Playoffs 4 2 1 1 8 4
2009 Group Stage 13 10 1 2 27 7
2011 Qualifying in progress 4 3 0 1 8 2
Total 10/17 157 104 25 28 292 119
*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

In addition to team victories, Spanish players have won individual awards at UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.

Year Golden Player
1986 Manuel Sanchís
1998 Francesc Arnau


Players

The most caps

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Caps
1 Santiago Denia Albacete Balompié, Atlético Madrid 1992–1996 27
2 Xavi Hernández FC Barcelona 1998–2001 25
3 Óscar García FC Barcelona, Albacete Balompié 1992–1996 24
4 Roberto Fernández CD Castellón, Valencia CF, FC Barcelona 1980–1988 21
5 Juan Alberto Andreu 'Melli' Real Betis 2003–2006 20
5 Raúl García CA Osasuna, Atlético Madrid 2006–2009 20
5 José Manuel Reina FC Barcelona, Villarreal CF 2000–2003 20
8 Txiki Begiristain Real Sociedad 1984–1988 19
8 Daniel Jarque RCD Espanyol 2003–2005 19
10 Andrés Iniesta FC Barcelona 2003–2006 18
10 José Manuel Jurado Atlético Madrid, RCD Mallorca 2006–2009 18
Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.

The most goals

Rank Player Club(s) Year(s) U-21 Goals
1 Óscar García FC Barcelona, Albacete Balompié 1992–1996 12
2 Pablo Couñago Recreativo, Celta de Vigo, Ipswich Town 1999–2001 9
3 Julen Guerrero Athletic Bilbao 1992–1994 8
3 Raúl González Real Madrid 1995–1996 8
3 Jonathan Soriano RCD Espanyol 2005 8
6 Roberto Fernández CD Castellón, Valencia CF, FC Barcelona 1980–1988 7
6 José Gálvez RCD Mallorca, Valencia CF 1993–1995 7
6 Xavi Hernández FC Barcelona 1998–2001 7
6 David Silva Valencia CF, SD Eibar, Celta de Vigo 2004–2006 7
Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s.

Recent results

Date Competition Location Home Team Result Away Team Scorers
4 September 2009
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
Oviedomarker, Spainmarker
2–0
Joselu , Parejo
7 September 2009
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
Vaduzmarker, Liechtensteinmarker
0–4
Parejo , Javi Martínez , Capel , Aarón
13 November 2009
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
Córdobamarker, Spainmarker
1–0
Míchel
17 November 2009
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
Rotterdammarker, Netherlandsmarker
2–1
Azpilicueta


Forthcoming fixtures

Date Competition Location Home Team Result Away Team Scorers
2 March 2010
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
TBD, Spainmarker
11 August 2010
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
TBD, Finlandmarker
3 September 2010
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
TBD, Spainmarker
7 September 2010
2011 UEFA U-21 Qualifying
TBD, Polandmarker


2011 UEFA European U-21 Qualification Group 4

Key: Pts Points, Pld Matches played, W Won, D Drawn, L Lost, GF Goals for, GA Goals against, GD Goal Difference

Current squad

Players born in or after 1988 are eligible for the next UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship.

The following players were called up to participate in a 2011 UEFA European Football Championship qualification against Finland and Netherlands.

  • Caps and goals as of 17 November 2009.


References

  1. Convocatoria Sub-21 para los partidos contra Finlandia y Holanda RFEF
  2. Fran Mérida y Omar Ramos entran en la Sub-21 por Aarón y Jeffrén RFEF


See also



External links




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