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Ander Herrera scored the opening goal in Spain's 2-0 win in the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final against Switzerland and, as the current crop prepare to face the same opponents on Thursday in qualifying Group 5, the midfielder recalls his memorable header.
The 23-year-old converted Dídac Vilà's cross just before the interval in Aarhus before Thiago Alcántara sealed victory nine minutes from time. Yet it was the whole tournament experience in Denmark, and the way Spain performed, that Herrera remembers most.
"To play with the best Under-21 players in the country, share so many experiences and then actually win it creates a special bond between us," he said. "When you play with them, it's just an incredible memory. They are very nice moments that we enjoyed and, above all, we played fantastic football."
The Athletic Club man accepts that expectations on Spanish teams are higher as a result of such recent triumphs, yet feels the Roja should use it always to their advantage. "It's positive pressure because we want to play well, we want to win," he added. "It's also good there are certain expectations because it means that people expect something from you, and that is motivating for you."
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