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Bright future for Under-19 talents

Published: Tuesday 2 August 2011, 13.49CET
UEFA.com reporters pick out 11 potential stars of the future from the 10th UEFA European Under-19 Championship following a memorable final tournament in Romania.
by Andrew Haslam & Paul Bryan
from Bucharest

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Published: Tuesday 2 August 2011, 13.49CET

Bright future for Under-19 talents

UEFA.com reporters pick out 11 potential stars of the future from the 10th UEFA European Under-19 Championship following a memorable final tournament in Romania.

Álex, Spain
Providing a link between defence and attack for Ginés Meléndez's side, the 18-year-old – who made his senior debut for Real Madrid CF last term – produced plenty of well-timed tackles and probing forward passes to help Spain to a sixth final, and fifth title, at this level.

Jakub Brabec, Czech Republic
Perhaps the dominant defender in the tournament, the centre-back – and Czech captain – showed the form which recently prompted AC Sparta Praha to sign him from FK Viktoria Žižkov. Strong in the air and a prominent presence in both penalty areas.

Kamil Çörekçi, Turkey
The right-back saved his best performance for last, turning in a superlative display in the 3-0 Matchday 3 defeat of Spain with which his team exited the competition. His cross led to Turkey's first goal, the Bucaspor defender making it two himself with an assured finish.

Florent Cuvelier, Belgium
A blur of energy in the Belgium midfield, the Stoke City FC player seemed to cover every blade of grass, driving his team forward and showcasing a fine range of passing.

Gerard Deulofeu, Spain
Schooled at FC Barcelona's youth academy, Deulofeu began the finals tormenting Belgium down both flanks with plenty of pace and trickery and continued in the same vein throughout the tournament, producing a stunning goal against the Republic of Ireland to open the scoring in the semi-final.

Charis Mavrias, Greece
Having made his UEFA Champions League debut last October aged only 16, the Panathinaikos FC midfielder featured in all three of Greece's finals games, always producing hard-working and lively displays.

Aaron McCarey, Republic of Ireland
Ever present for Ireland during the qualification campaign and finals, the Wolverhampton Wanderers FC goalkeeper produced several telling saves as his team reached the last four, particularly in the crucial final Group A game against Romania. Commanding in the air and possessing a huge reach, the Ireland No1 cuts an intimidating figure inside his area.

Álvaro Morata, Spain
A team-mate of Álex at Real Madrid, Morata finished the tournament as top scorer with six goals which included a hat-trick against Serbia and two in the semi-final against Ireland. Often compared to former Spain international Fernando Morientes, the striker is calm and clinical in front of goal but showed another side to his game in the final, setting up Paco Alcácer's winner with a deft cushioned header.

Andrej Mrkela, Serbia
His country's most consistent attacking threat, the FK Rad midfielder wore the captain's armband against Turkey and responded accordingly, setting up both goals in a 2-0 win, before his thunderbolt against Belgium secured the draw that took Serbia into the semi-finals.

Ionuţ Năstăsie, Romania
A quick right-sided attacker who enjoyed his best performance in Romania's final group game against Ireland. Scorer of two goals in 22 appearances for FC Steaua Bucureşti's B team last season, Năstăsie's ball control, distribution and pace are his main assets.

Tomáš Přikryl, Czech Republic
Kick-started the Czech campaign with their Matchday 1 equaliser against Romania and followed up with memorable goals against Greece and Serbia. The pacy SK Sigma Olomouc forward scored only once in six qualifying appearances but formed a potent partnership with Patrik Lácha at the finals.

Last updated: 06/12/13 9.59CET

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http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=1654980.html#bright+future+under+talents

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