The main soccer tournament of the summer comes to an end. The most worthy, the original favorites, reached the final of the mainland youth championship. This article is about Fury Roja, a team with a golden generation that can win the Eurocup in all three categories: U17, U19 and U21.
Back to the past
They have already beaten England in the Euro 2017 Under-17 final 2-2 in normal time and a crushing 4-1 on penalties. Spain fought until the end and came back after 86′, when the goalkeeper entered the penalty area for a corner, it seemed too early.
In that match for Spain, the incipient Antonio Blanco, Sergio Gómez, Juan Miranda, Abel Ruiz played. All of them have a good chance of reaching the start and the final today, among teams under 21 years of age. This is the backbone and great protagonists of the generation that, after Croatia, won the European Championship in Yerevan, already among the teams under 19 years of age. Then Arnau Tenas joined, now the main goalkeeper.
Another important detail is the coach. Santi Dénia played for Atlético de Madrid and won the Spanish Championship in 1995. For the last 13 years he has been coaching youth teams, from Under-16 to their recent promotion to Under-21. And it was Santi Dénia who led this golden generation to victories at Euro U17 and Euro U19. Today, in addition to a potential hat-trick, the title of the most starting team in the history of the tournament is at stake: Italy and Spain already have five trophies each.
The Dénia teams adopt the best national traditions: total control of the ball, pressure, skilful passes and combinations in the opposite field. A tiki-taka adapted to the current era of versatility and pressure.
Manager of Spain Under-21
“We are a reflection in the federation of how work is done in the clubs, in the quarries. The level of the Spanish coaches is the best in the world, and of course I’m not talking about myself. I try to take advantage of the work of the Spanish coaches.”
Almost perfect attack system
Spain U21 operates in a 4-2-3-1 formation, where explosive flanks play a decisive role. On the right, the small and fast winger Rodri, Fekir’s replacement at Betis. Left: Versatility: Juan Miranda and Sergio Gómez are attacking left-backs. Miranda often takes the ball and drags it forward as much as possible, then follows up with a penetrating forward pass from the wing into the middle, or a cross into the penalty area, when they let it come to the front. Gómez has a broader functionality: good vision of the field, more agility and mobility. He combines in the penalty area with partners, he leads the game further, if necessary, transfers to the other flank. Top scorer and second assistant in the tournament. He takes an example from more famous compatriots.
Photo: Vasile Mihai-Antonio/Getty Images
In the forward position, striker Abel Ruiz is drawn. If you don’t cover it, as Ukraine did in the semi-finals, you may have a lot of regrets. Abel is an additional option when it comes to getting the ball out and a key piece at the end. He moves both to the flanks and in depth. Incredibly creative: tilting, passing the ball, elegantly playing with the body and taking out the opponent on the move are all in the order of things for him. In the semifinals, he even tried to hit a ball in the penalty area: unsuccessful, but after the rebound they scored! That is why leaving it even for half a second is dangerous. He is also the best scorer, even though he missed a lot of chances. The Eurocup final for Abel is a record: he will become the player with the most appearances in the lower categories of Spain, surpassing Deulofeu.
Photo: Sebastian Frej/Getty Images
In the support zone – “floating” Alex Baena, and next to him – fixed Antonio Blanco. Baena moves throughout the field, gives dynamism and movement. Antonio-assures: he stops counterattacks, removes, intercepts, plays to save the ball, aggravates a bit. Alex Baena’s strength, connecting to attacks with a second rhythm, often catches you by surprise: for example, Romania scored like this. Perhaps Switzerland treated them better when they defended the low block and did not allow anything to be created in the center.
Antonio Blanco is good at interceptions and martial arts, cross passes. A small detail that stands out especially this is the outer side of the foot. owns perfect! This ability not only expands the range of situations in which you can pass, but also allows you to get to the ball faster, you do not need to adapt to the “cheek”, you will pass the ball anyway. Antonio is half a second faster.
Photo: Sam Barnes/Getty Images
This team is hard to resist. Perhaps the only weak point is the position of the right back: Víctor Gómez connects well in attack, but is weak in defense. Mikhail Mudrik won’t let you lie: he created chances one after another from the wing until Santi Denia had to replace Sergio Gómez and Rodri on the wings. “Maybe it was worth doing it before,” said the coach about the reorganization after the game. Apparently, even before the tournament, Denia made the main bet on Arnau Martinez, but he played poorly in the 1st round and hasn’t appeared in the start since.
What about transfers?
Yes, in theory, such equipment should simply be dismantled! If it weren’t for one “but”: yeah. Almost everything dismantled. Sergio Gomez was bought by Manchester City in the winter and will apparently be loaned out in the summer: RMC Sport journalist writes about interest from Burnley. Antonio Blanco is a Real Madrid graduate and still belongs to him. According to the Spanish publication AS, Madrid wants to extend the contract and give it to another on loan. Alex Baena is the star of Villarreal, he has not yet been linked to anyone. These are all the big clubs.
Arnau Martínez is very good at Girona and is now on the radar of Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid. But it seems that the transfer is not going to take place: the Madrid club has already brought Azpilicueta to the team, and the Catalans have switched to another cheaper Spanish talent, Iván Fresneda.
Photo: Sam Barnes/Getty Images
There are some rumors about the future of Abel Ruiz and Rodri. Abel can be an option to reinforce PSG, where Luis Enrique has arrived and wants to attract the Spanish. Rodri, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, is of interest to Juventus. In both cases, there is nothing substantive.
The main transfer saga revolves around Gabriel Veiga, the opening of the Spanish championship. It has been going on since spring, and so far there is no clear understanding of which of the top clubs will trigger the €40 million release amount. According to the latest reports from RMC Sport, PSG are in talks with the player’s entourage. . Chelsea will soon enter the race. Perhaps a brilliant performance in the final will speed up the process and Veiga decide on the future.