Vallejo's verdict on Spain's U19 champions

Jesús Vallejo talks UEFA.com through the Spain squad, with a strong Andalusian presence, several jokers, a team mascot and a pitbull with a heart of gold.

Spain captain Jesús Vallejo at the pre-final press conference
©Sportsfile

Antonio Sivera
He's a very quiet guy. He likes sleeping. When we finish lunch, he runs to bed! He also likes all sports. When we first check into a hotel, he checks to find out if there is a space to play pádel or run. As a goalkeeper, he speaks a lot during games and transmits his calmness to the team.

Unai Simón
Both keepers are similar, both calm – Unai a bit more lively than Antonio. He is from the Basque country and his voice is the loudest in the team. Although he hasn't yet played in the tournament, Unai is always satisfied, always encouraging the team. He's a good team-mate.

Antonio Marin
He's from Andalusia and one of the players who puts on the music in the dressing room – sevillanas, flamenco. Vice-captain of the squad.

Aaron Caricol
He always likes to play jokes. He will urge you to keep playing poker or PlayStation after you're done. A very lively guy!

Jorge Meré
My room-mate, my best friend in the squad and the one I talk to the most. Perhaps that's because we're together at the back, as central defenders.

Borja aka 'Pitbull'
Borja aka 'Pitbull'©Sportsfile

José Carlos Ramírez
A lot like Unai. Although he hasn't played so far, he's always encouraging the team. I'm learning many things from him.

Borja
A very aggressive guy on the pitch, physical in his game and likes to go in strongly. That's why we call him 'Pitbull', because he presses a lot and bites on the pitch. He's the exact opposite off the field. He has a heart of gold; he is very likeable and very calm.

Mikel Merino
We make fun of each other. He plays for Osasuna and I play for Real Zaragoza and there's a bit of a rivalry there. We always do that. He talks a lot during games, but also off the pitch.

Dani Ceballos
Antonio Marin puts on the music in the dressing rooms: Dani Ceballos sings it. The most festive guy in the group. He has a positive attitude. When we lost to Russia, he was the one to boost us. He is the noisiest of all. Also, he and Marco are the ones to do ball tricks when warm-up begins.

Dani Ceballos shows off his moves
Dani Ceballos shows off his moves©Sportsfile

Marco Asensio
The third captain of the team, a mixture of all the players and the most extroverted of all. He is a good guy and the first to enjoy the happy moments. He is a very humble person, despite having made it to Real Madrid at such a young age.

Rodrigo Hernández
When I met him, I thought he was very shy, quiet, almost seemed clueless, but no. Once I got to know him, I found out that although he's the quiet one in the squad, he's a very nice person. He knows some German and when we landed at Hamburg on the way here, he helped us all with what we were asking.

Pape Cheikh
Our mascot. We love him a lot and he's always helpful. Although he's the victim of too many practical jokes, he always reacts well. He's the youngest in the group. Many evenings, he lets Jorge and me use his tablet. We ask him for action films and he tells us that he only has Spiderman, Superman and the Fantastic Four …

Rodrigo Hernández, not clueless, and Matías Nahuel minus mobile phone, for once
Rodrigo Hernández, not clueless, and Matías Nahuel minus mobile phone, for once©Sportsfile

David Concha
When I joined the U19s, he'd been with the squad longest. He explained to me how the team works. He told me not to worry and that national coaches watch what you do with the national squad but that they follow your club work most of all – they value your career as a whole.

Borja Mayoral
In a group with Dani Ceballos and Antonio Marin. Although not from Andalusia – he's from Madrid – he loves making jokes. Passes the most time in front of a mirror and also a video game addict, just like Pape.

Matías Nahuel
Has dual nationality – Argentinian and Spanish. The calmest person of all. He likes to be on his own, with his mobile phone and his music. On the pitch he tries to bring something different to the team.

Borja Mayoral takes a break from checking the mirror
Borja Mayoral takes a break from checking the mirror©Sportsfile

Alfonso Pedraza
At first, he seems very serious. But then you remember that he is from Andalusia and, like all Andalusians, he has this spark that is always useful to the team. Very attached to his mobile phone.

Carlos Fernández
He is also Andalusian; there's a lot of them in the squad. Although he's not one of the captains, he seems like one, because he's always encouraging the team and taking an interest in his team-mates. He is also the know-it-all: he finds out everything, knows the timetables and tells us!

Jesús Vallejo
I would say that I am a responsible person, mature and humble above all. Although people say to me that I have played well, I always focus more on what I did wrong in order to improve.

Luis de la Fuente (coach)
Our coach is a very passionate person; he never stops firing us up. If we win this European trophy, I'd very much like to see how he will celebrate. It will be a spectacular sight!

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