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Under-21 stage for future stars

The young players of today are the big names of tomorrow, and the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland next summer will showcase their talent.

Twelve teams and their young talents await us in Poland.
Twelve teams and their young talents await us in Poland. ©Sportsfile

The talents of tomorrow will showcase their burgeoning skills at next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship final round in Poland.

Ahead of Thursday's final tournament draw in Krakow, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: "The UEFA European Under-21 Championship provides young players with a crucial transition between youth football and the full international stage. We have seen previously how many of the game's big stars have displayed their blossoming talents at this level over the years.

"Next year in Poland, more young players than ever before will have the opportunity to shine on this platform, since the final tournament will feature 12 participating teams for the first time."

Polish Football Federation (PZPN) president Zbigniew Boniek added: "Poland is proud to have been chosen to host this prestigious and acclaimed tournament which will see many of the top players of the not-too-distant future take another important step along their career paths.

"We are looking forward to seeing them in action," he said, "and we are sure that the many fans and visitors who come to our country for the event will enjoy a unique and memorable experience.

"The tournament slogan 'Stars of Today, Superstars of Tomorrow' is already valid with regard to a number of players who will take part in this competition. I deeply believe that they will bring us a lot of amazing emotions."

UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti said that the preparations made by the PZPN and host cities Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Kielce, Krakow, Lublin and Tychy had been of the highest calibre – "certainly laying the foundations for a memorable competition full of outstanding football next June".

"The upcoming tournament will be a great promotion of football and celebration of our shared passion for the beautiful game," added the tournament ambassador, former Polish international Marek Koźmiński.