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"Playing for the national team is a beautiful experience," said Isco as he looks forward to donning the red shirt of Spain again in defence of his country's UEFA European Under-21 Championship title in Israel in June.
With the midfielder having caught the eye in debutants Málaga CF's run to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, there should be plenty of additional interest in the skilful 21-year-old when Spain kick off their Israeli campaign on 6 June. Isco, who has already made his senior international bow, hopes to emulate the likes of Juan Mata and Javi Martínez in lifting the U21 trophy.
"I think we have a good opportunity to win," said former Valencia CF trainee Isco. "We are a team that passes the ball around very well, we score a lot of goals, there is a great team spirit. The fact is, we won all our qualifying matches except one, which we drew. So our statistics are very good."
However, with Russia, Germany and the Netherlands to negotiate in Group B, Julen Lopetegui's side do not have the smoothest possible path to the semi-finals. "They are pretty strong teams so it will be difficult for us," Isco observed. "But we trust a lot in ourselves and in what we've been doing. We hope to make it past the group stage."
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