Spain's Alberto Bueno was celebrating the realisation of a long-held ambition after scoring both goals against Scotland to help his country win the UEFA European Under-19 Championship for the third time.
The Real Madrid CF forward found the net twice at the Stadion Miejski in Poznan, first breaking the Scottish resistance with a textbook chip early in the second half after exchanging passes with Mario Suárez and then turning in 19 minutes from the end. Asked whether he had dreamed of scoring in the final the night before the game, Bueno simply replied: "I haven't just been dreaming about this since yesterday; I've been dreaming about it all my life. This is a new step for us all and we have a lot of expectation for the future; to have the opportunity of playing in a tournament like this at the age of 18 is incredible and now we have to keep working in the same way. It's very important for people of our age to get the chance to play in this kind of tournament and we're very happy to have won it."
Bueno's goals took his total for the finals to five, meaning he finished as the tournament's joint top scorer alongside Ílhan Parlak of Turkey and he had scored in each of his four appearances in Poland. His team-mate Gerard Piqué - who provided the assist for the second against Scotland - has no doubts about his prowess, telling uefa.com "Alberto's five goals showed everyone that he is a great striker with a great future," but the man himself is more modest. "We've played very well and it's always good to score but I have to thank my team for providing me with those opportunities," Bueno said.
For his coach, the success of the 18-year-old and his team-mates vindicates once again the forward-thinking policy of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF); of the 18-man squad who lifted the trophy in Poland, five will be eligible to play in the tournament again in Austria next year. "Alberto was very good tonight and is different from some of the other players as he is one of the youngest in the squad and has time on his side," explained Ginés Meléndez. "We – the staff and the coaches at the RFEF - trust them, there are many past examples of this such as Sergio Ramos and Cesc Fabregas. We put them in the team if they are ready; that is our philosophy, to trust in them regardless of their age."
For now, however, there is a victory to celebrate and for Bueno, the satisfaction of a job well done. "People think that the most important thing for a forward is to score but I think it is more important to help your team in every way and not just contribute goals. On this occasion my goals have won us the final and of course I'm very happy because my dreams have been realised." He will doubtless already be plotting how to achieve his next ambition.
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