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Jesé pays tribute to Spain team-mates

Published: Monday 16 July 2012, 2.35CET
Spain's Jesé Rodríguez ended the UEFA European Under-19 Championship as top scorer and with a winners' medal, telling UEFA.com his award is thanks to a collective effort.
by Paul Bryan
from Lilleküla Stadium

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Published: Monday 16 July 2012, 2.35CET

Jesé pays tribute to Spain team-mates

Spain's Jesé Rodríguez ended the UEFA European Under-19 Championship as top scorer and with a winners' medal, telling UEFA.com his award is thanks to a collective effort.

Proudly clinging to the trophy he won as the UEFA European Under-19 Championship's top scorer, Spain's Jesé Rodríguez told UEFA.com that only the effort of his team-mates allows him to collect such awards.

The Real Madrid CF forward registered the only goal of the final against Greece with ten minutes of the contest remaining, taking his tournament tally to five and ensuring that Spain successfully defended the title they won in Romania last year.

"We're very happy and we deserved to win as we played a great game," he said. "We dominated almost throughout. Sure, they attacked from time to time but it was us who nearly always had the ball."

Julen Lopetegui's team probed for openings throughout an engaging encounter at a rain-soaked Lilleküla Stadium yet, according to Jesé, were never in doubt that the they would break Greece's resolve.

"We kept looking for a way through but I wouldn't say we were worried that we weren't scoring as time ticked on," he said. "We were feeling OK; we were patient and in the end that was the key. The pitch played quite quickly which is the way we like it. They were excellent conditions in which to play good football."

The Canary Islander was also on target when Spain defeated Greece 2-1 in the teams' opening Group A game in Haapsalu 12 days before Sunday's final and he was quick to praise the opposition for putting in a "fine performance" this time around in Tallinn. 

"I would like to congratulate Greece for the part they played," he said. "They have a great squad that contains many fine players and they deserved to be here tonight. Our coach let us know afterwards that we were worthy winners and that we had to enjoy our triumph as much as possible."

La Rojita registered eleven goals at this year's finals with Jesé finding the net in both games against Greece and scoring a hat-trick in the 3-3 draw against Portugal, a feat that left him feeling immensely proud. "To have scored five goals at such a high level is an achievement I'm obviously very happy with," he said.

"If it weren't for the hard work of the team, however, I would never have had the opportunity to do this. My team-mates are great guys and they supported me throughout the tournament, just as I did them. As a team, we have been very much together from the outset."

Jesé now travels back to Madrid, where his next goal will be to catch the eye of coach José Mourinho having made his Liga bow last season. "I have had an unforgettable year but I want to take some holidays now and relax a little," the striker said.

"When I get back to my club I want to continue improving day by day. I know that when I do get back, though, that my team-mates will look on me differently as is always the case when you win tournaments like this."

Last updated: 31/10/12 17.45CET

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