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2017: Patricia Guijarro

Patricia Guijarro top-scored at the 2017 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, helping crown Pedro López's side as champions after suffering three straight final defeats.
by Laure James from Belfast
2017: Patricia Guijarro
Patricia Guijarro celebrates Spain's final victory ©Sportsfile

2017: Patricia Guijarro

Patricia Guijarro top-scored at the 2017 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, helping crown Pedro López's side as champions after suffering three straight final defeats.

Few do passion quite like the Spanish, and it would seem they're just as fond of ending heartbreak.

Patricia Guijarro top-scored at the 2017 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship thanks to her five goals, helping crown Pedro López's side as champions after suffering three straight final defeats.

The Spain captain netted a late winner after scoring an equaliser in the entertaining 3-2 final victory over France, and said that being on the brink brought out the best in Las Rojas.

Highights: Guijarro wins final for Spain

"The tournament for us showed how we can grow in a short space of time," she said. "For us, it was a case of starting slowly then reaching the pinnacle.

"Despite how young we are as a group, we kept our focus in key moments. For example, we lost against Germany in the group stage, so we didn't have a perfect record in the competition, but we didn't bow down.

"On the contrary, everything which followed was positive. Then that same focus was shown right at the end, when we were still losing in the 84th minute to France, and yet we knew how to take control and to come back."

The Barcelona midfielder played a key part in Spain's set-piece prowess, scoring twice in the final from corners. Yet despite having five to choose from, she could not pick a favourite from her own stock.

"My favourite goal was actually not one of my own, but Maite Oroz's against the Netherlands. Maite was just lying in wait for a nice pass back and slotted so confidently. For me, it was the most complete and beautiful goal.

Semi-final highlights: Netherlands 2-3 Spain

"I consider myself a player who balances play in attack and defence, so keeping a good defensive record is just as pleasing for me as winning the Golden Boot.

"This competition taught us lots of things, but for me, it reminded us of what we already know, and that's how to be a team that never gives up."

Guijarro earned her second call-up to the senior team shortly after returning home from Northern Ireland, which she believed was in recognition of her starring role at the WU19 EURO.

"The competition did help me grow as a player – of course it's also how we play at our clubs – but it did help to put the spotlight on us.

"It is a dream come true. We've been fighting for it for years, and we finally have succeeded. Being champions of Europe is not easy."

Last updated: 14/09/17 12.48CET

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http://www.uefa.com/womensunder19/history/season=2017/goldenplayer/index.html#2017+patricia+guijarro