Just two months after returning from knee surgery, Spain striker Sandro scored his nation's winner against Portugal and told UEFA.com the holders are growing in confidence.
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Having scored the goal against Portugal that helped Spain to a winning start of their UEFA European Under-19 Championship title defence, Sandro Ramírez warned that La Rojita were looking to continue where they left off last year.
The Canary Islander latched on to a lofted pass from team-mate José Rodríguez in the 19th minute before expertly controlling and then finishing past Bruno Varela to ensure Luis de la Fuente's side edged an even Group A encounter in Marijampole.
Speaking to UEFA.com, the FC Barcelona forward said that collecting maximum points overshadowed any satisfaction he derived from scoring. "Sure, it was a personal triumph for me to score but the most important things were that the team knew how to play well together and that we won three points," he explained.
Formerly of UD Las Palmas, Sandro's reptuation began to grow after several solid campaigns in Barça's youth ranks and despite three months out following a serious knee injury last term, he returned to help his club's 'Juvenil A' side top their División de Honor section by some distance. More good news arrived with the Blaugrana promoting the 18-year-old to 'B' team status for the 2013/14 campaign while a call up to his nation's Under-19 squad followed.
With the six-time winners next facing hosts Lithuania on Tuesday, Sandro said that the pride of witnessing Spain's immense international successes of late has acted as an inspiration to their own ambitions.
"We're the Spanish team; [our senior side] are the champions of the world and that being the case, we will always do our very best in every match," he assured. "Against Portugal, we knew it was going to be tough as they would be giving their all against us. But we are here to do the same, no matter the opponents. We realise that the next match against Lithuania will be tricky as they are playing at home but we will always look to take the game to the opposition."
Following his and Spain's perfect start to proceedings and with coach De la Fuente warning of improvements to come from the Iberians, the hosts and their final opponents in the group – the Netherlands – have been duly warned.