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Spain's Suso dreaming of friendly final

Published: Tuesday 10 July 2012, 22.21CET
Liverpool FC forward Suso has played an integral role in Spain's progress at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship and is especially motivated to get past France in the last four.
by Paul Bryan
from Tallinn
Spain's Suso dreaming of friendly final
Spain's Suso has his sights set on France ©Sportsfile
Published: Tuesday 10 July 2012, 22.21CET

Spain's Suso dreaming of friendly final

Liverpool FC forward Suso has played an integral role in Spain's progress at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship and is especially motivated to get past France in the last four.

Although his immediate focus is squarely on Thursday's semi-final with France, Spain forward Suso is already dreaming of a final encounter against England.

Spain reached the finals with a 100% record in the elite round, Suso – otherwise known as Jesús Joaquín Fernández – featuring in every game and scoring in the 2-1 victory against Armenia. The Liverpool FC striker has also been ever-present in Estonia and believes La Rojita's progress through Group A has come thanks to a strong team bond.

"We have a great side and are good team-mates," the 18-year-old told UEFA.com. "We played three difficult matches here, beating Greece and Estonia and drawing with Portugal, who were very good and quite similar to us."

Although eager to take the chance to immerse himself back into a Spanish environment every time he joins up with his country, Suso feels his decision to leave his home city of Cadiz to join Rafael Benítez at Liverpool in 2010 was one of his best.

"Before I made the choice to move to England I thought to myself that joining Liverpool and Benítez was a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said. "I felt that if I kept improving throughout my career I would have the opportunity to play for a big Spanish team but the Liverpool offer might have never come around again. Going to play football in another country and learning English was something I wanted to do and I am glad I did; I love England."

Still awaiting his first-team chance on Merseyside, Suso is hoping his performances at this year's finals will catch the eye of new manager Brendan Rogers who took over from Kenny Dalglish last month. "I hope I get some minutes and a chance to show what I can do," he said. "I am really happy at the club and I want to stay."

A more pressing matter for Suso is the semi-final against France at the Lilleküla Stadium in Tallinn on Thursday and the attacking midfielder was impressed with Pierre Mankowski's side when the teams met in a friendly in Paris last February.

"We played against them and won 2-1 in the winter; they are one of the best teams I have seen," he said. "I didn't expect them to lose against England the other day but it happened and now they will face us in the semi-finals. We will need to do what we do best which is to play the ball around the pitch. Hopefully by doing that we can win."

While the primary aim is ensuring Spain reach the final, Suso will have one eye on the semi-final between Greece and England and will be keeping his fingers crossed that some familiar faces also make it through to Sunday's showpiece.

"I know most of England's players but especially Conor Coady and Jack Robinson, who are with me at Liverpool," he explained. "It would be strange to see them on the opposing side in the final but it's an experience that would also be very enjoyable for all concerned."

Last updated: 11/07/12 14.42CET

Related information

Player profiles
    • Suso
    • Liverpool - England
Team profiles

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