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Barragán benefits from Puerta's rise

Published: Wednesday 4 October 2006, 12.28CET
Right-back Antonio Barragán has been called up to the Spain party to face Italy after midfielder Antonio Puerta was promoted to the senior squad.
 

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Published: Wednesday 4 October 2006, 12.28CET

Barragán benefits from Puerta's rise

Right-back Antonio Barragán has been called up to the Spain party to face Italy after midfielder Antonio Puerta was promoted to the senior squad.

Antonio Barragán has been called up to the Spain squad for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off against Italy after Antonio Puerta was promoted to the senior fold.

Puerta opportunity
Sevilla FC midfielder Puerta was added to Luis Aragonés's party for the UEFA EURO 2008™ Group F game with Sweden on Saturday after Real Madrid CF's José Antonio Reyes withdrew with a calf injury. Puerta's nomination means an opportunity for RC Deportivo La Coruña right-back Barragán, to whom U21 coach Iñaki Sáez turns after learning about Puerta's promotion while at the junior training camp in Aranjuez.

U19 success
Barragán, 19, becomes the third member of the victorious Spain team from this year's European U19 Championship to step up to the U21s, following in the footsteps of goalkeeper Antonio Adán and centre-back Gerard Piqué. The defender played all five matches in Poland in July as Ginés Meléndez's side defeated Scotland 2-1 in the final to take the trophy for the third time.

Away goals
Meanwhile, Spain U21 coach Iñaki Sáez is determined to make an impression in the first leg against Italy away from home. "My team must play a very serious match and not give anything away in defence," he said. "We can't leave until tomorrow something we can do today so we will score if we can and then playing the return leg at home will be an advantage."

Proud array
The former senior national team coach was proud of the impressive array of talent in his squad, saying: "Of all of the U21 teams I have coached, this is the first time that there have been so many players from top division clubs and that's very good for Spanish football."
Last updated: 30/01/12 9.22CET

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