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Having led England to their first UEFA European Under-17 Championship title with a nerve-jangling 2-1 defeat of Spain in Vaduz, manager John Peacock praised his players and their "gracious" opponents and tried to sum up what the win meant to the game in his country. Opposite number Ginés Meléndez hailed England as "great champions" and thanked senior coach Vicente del Bosque and Spain's FIFA World Cup squad for their support during and after the final.
John Peacock, England manager
We've had some real good contests over the last few years and Spain as always were very gracious in defeat, not that they get beaten often. I'm absolutely delighted, it's the first time we've won this competition and it's 17 years since we last won a European title.
It's a great day for all of us and I'm absolutely delighted for the 18 players, they've worked so hard and the spirit in the camp has been absolutely first class. It was a fantastic game, you had everything there today – good defending, some excellent attacking play and a lot of commitment from both sides.
I think we started reasonably well for the first ten minutes but then their two wide players, who we knew, were very direct and positive in their play. We went a goal behind but we managed to get back into the game. I was generally very pleased with the attacking play, we were very patient with our passing. We stood a little too far off their midfield players at times so we had to stop the source going out to the wide players. At 1-1 it was always going to be a tight game.
It means a lot to the English game. We've obviously got our critics that we are not producing players. We have produced many, many good players from this tournament, we are producing good players back in England. What is missing was a final where we could put our name to a trophy, hopefully we won't have to wait 17 years for another one.
Ginés Meléndez, Spain coach
I congratulate my friend John Peacock. I think it was a great game from both teams. Spain were unlucky but we have great champions and congratulations to England for their first U17 title. We always maintain the same style as that is how the senior side play. Today
I also want to thank Vicente del Bosque and the A team, who were waiting for the players when they got off the pitch. This is a moment I will never forget.
We cannot forget that England were strong in defence, they were able to stop us. Today I saw the best two teams I have seen in the U17 Championship in recent years. It was hard work for England.
This team have worked together since they were U15s and U16s, when they were with Aitor Karanka. And I congratulate Aitor for the work he did because we have very good players and we will have a very good U19 team as well. What is important is that these players are able to have great competition against great opponents and against England they had a very good match with a strong team in front of us. These matches are important to see what players are made of, and I really think we have a good team and good players.
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