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Semi-final goal excites Spain's Jesé Rodríguez

Published: Saturday 7 July 2012, 14.12CET
Jesé Rodríguez may be the four-goal leading scorer at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, but it is Spain's collective effort that has most impressed the forward.
by Paul Bryan
from Tallinn
Semi-final goal excites Spain's Jesé Rodríguez
Jesé Rodríguez (left) fends off Portugal's Agostinho Ça during the teams' 3-3 draw ©Sportsfile
Published: Saturday 7 July 2012, 14.12CET

Semi-final goal excites Spain's Jesé Rodríguez

Jesé Rodríguez may be the four-goal leading scorer at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, but it is Spain's collective effort that has most impressed the forward.

Preferring not to dwell on the hat-trick he registered for Spain in Friday's exciting 3-3 draw against Portugal, striker Jesé Rodríguez instead spoke of his desire to see his side seal semi-final qualification when they meet Estonia on Monday.

The Real Madrid CF forward's treble at the Lilleküla Stadium in Tallinn looked set to take the holders into the last four as Group A winners with a game to spare, yet, in a dramatic finale, João Mário's added-time penalty earned Portugal a point.

"To be honest we were not disappointed with the result at all – in fact we were quite happy with the work rate we put in as a team during the game," the Canary Islander told UEFA.com. "Physically and mentally we were very strong. Portugal are a great team and they have very good players. We competed well against each other."

Playing at the tournament has capped a highly memorable year for Jesé, who scored against Guangzhou Zongyi FC during Madrid's pre-season tour of China 11 months ago.

A Liga debut under José Mourinho arrived in the 5-1 victory against Real Sociedad de Fútbol on 24 March, while his eight goals in 39 games for the club's B team, Real Madrid Castilla, helped them claim the third division title and automatic promotion.

"At club level I obviously want to get better and better as time passes, while on the international front I am not looking any further than us qualifying for the semi-finals by gaining the right result against Estonia," he said, despite knowing he would play no part in the game following his second yellow card in as many matches.

Jesé registered a crucial late goal for Spain as they sealed qualification for this tournament with a 2-1 elite round victory against Italy in May, while his treble against Portugal came after he scored the opener in Tuesday's defeat of Greece. Despite his goalscoring exploits, it is the experience provided by being in Tallinn that he believes will stand him in good stead going forward.

"This type of tournament is very important, because they give prestige to each and every player here. They help us a lot in regards to learning how to compete at big finals in the years to come," he said. "Right now, we are looking to prepare well for our final group game and with the great atmosphere within our group and the hard work we are putting in, we are hopeful it will go well."

Last updated: 07/07/12 21.56CET

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