U19 EURO: four of the best

Ahead of Saturday's U19 EURO final, we pick out four young talents who have lit up the tournament in Armenia.

Portugal's Gonçalo Ramos is the leading scorer in Armenia
Portugal's Gonçalo Ramos is the leading scorer in Armenia ©Sportsfile

"An important shop window" is how Santi Denia describes the Under-19 EURO. "We've explained to them that this EURO can change lives," adds the Spain coach of a tournament which reaches its conclusion in Yerevan on Saturday, when his side take on Filipe Ramos's Portugal.

There are players from every competing country who have left a positive mark during the course of this tournament in Armenia, and ahead of the final at Republican Stadium, we pick out four of the best – one from each of the semi-final squads.

Oumar Solet, France

The Lyon centre-back was part of a France defence which went home having not conceded a single goal. Moreover, he contributed to the attacking play of Les Bleuets with his ability to break the lines with his passing and mobility on the ball.

Ireland's Jonathan Afolabi caught the eye
Ireland's Jonathan Afolabi caught the eye©Sportsfile

Jonathan Afolabi, Republic of Ireland

Scorer of a spectacular individual goal against the Czech Republic, the Ireland centre-forward and vice-captain entered this tournament without a club but did his chances of finding new employers no harm at all by emerging as one of the leaders of Tom Mohan's side – particularly on the pitch with his hold-up play and swift, intelligent movement.

Gonçalo Ramos, Portugal

The tournament's leading scorer has stood out thanks to the precious ability to sniff out a chance and take it, the Benfica youngster helping himself to four goals in Armenia – all of them scored from inside the penalty box, including his hat-trick against Ireland in Wednesday's semi-final.

Ferran Torres, Spain

The right-sided attacker arrived in Armenia on the back of a breakthrough season with Valencia which included a Copa del Rey winner's medal. Since then, he has responded to the expectations surrounding him, underlining his status as a reference point for Denia's squad by converting the winning spot kick against France.

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