UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Under-17 EURO: Group A preview

The coaches of Croatia, Italy, Spain and Turkey agree that Group A is perhaps the most testing, although all are looking forward to witnessing how their teams fare.

The hosts' coach Dario Bašic was in demand at the pre-finals press conference
The hosts' coach Dario Bašic was in demand at the pre-finals press conference ©Sportsfile

Previous final tournaments
: 3
Most recent: 2015
Best performance: semi-finals 2005
Friendly results 2016/17: Ukraine 1-1, Ukraine 1-1,  Spain 0-1, Spain 2-1, Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-1, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-4, Greece 1-2, Germany 2-3, England 0-5

Dario Bašić, coach: The group is very difficult. Though we're going to play some of the best teams in Europe, it's good to face such opposition and gauge where you stand. It might help my players develop because that's the main aim of this tournament. We have to give them tough games to facilitate their development, as they are the future of Croatian football.


Previous final tournaments: 6
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: runners-up 2013
Qualifying round: Albania 1-0, FYR Macedonia 0-0, Serbia 2-0 (Group 4 winners)
Elite round: Belarus 3-0, Belgium 1-0, Netherlands 1-2 (Group 5 runners-up)
Top scorer: Davide Merola 3

Emiliano Bigica, Italy coach: The draw was not easy, but two teams qualify from the group so I think we have a good chance of going through. We played two friendly matches against Croatia last year. We're aware of the difficulties of playing them, but we'll do everything to win the game.


Previous final tournaments: 10
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: winners 2007, 2008
Qualifying round: Northern Ireland 4-0, San Marino 3-0, Slovakia 6-0 (Group 9 winners)
Elite round: Poland 3-1, Greece 0-1, Portugal 2-0 (Group 3 winners)
Top scorer: Abel Ruiz 6

Santi Denia, coach: We've worked hard to prepare for the tournament and we know the first match will be tough because Turkey are a very capable team. It'll be a tight group as every team has the potential to qualify.


Previous final tournaments: 6
Most recent: 2014
Best performance: winners 2005
Qualifying round: Norway 2-0, Ukraine 1-0, Lithuania 1-0 (Group 13 winners)
Elite round: Finland 4-1, Armenia 6-0, Germany 1-3 (Group 1 runners-up)
Top scorer: Atalay Babacan 5

Mehmet Hacioğlu, coach: I'm very satisfied with the group because although it's tough, my team have the opportunity to show their quality – and I trust my players to do that. I've followed Croatian football and I'm a big fan. In recent years Turkey have faced Croatian teams at many levels. Rather than favourites, I'm thinking about how the matches will be of high quality and how every team can spring a surprise.