UEFA President takes heart from Under-21 finals

UEFA President Michel Platini said the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship was "exactly the type of tournament that I like to see" as the finals ended in Israel.

UEFA President Michel Platini paid tribute to UEFA European Under-21 Championship hosts Israel

UEFA President Michel Platini reflected on what he termed "a fantastic tournament" as the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel came to a conclusion with Spain beating Italy 4-2 in Jerusalem.

More than 175,000 people attended the 15 matches in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Petah Tikva, with nearly 30,000 watching the final, and the UEFA President praised the organisation of the event.

Mr Platini said: "I can say that the organisation of the championship has been fantastic and everyone involved delivered brilliant football. It is true that these players are tomorrow's superstars and I am very happy that this young generation – based on what I have seen here – all play beautifully.

"The stadiums were wonderful and well organised, the pitches excellent, and the atmosphere in the stadiums was great with many families with young children attending. That is exactly the type of tournament I like to see."

The UEFA President paid tribute to all who had made this month's tournament a success. He said: "The cooperation between UEFA and the Israel Football Association was fantastic and everything went very smoothly and, as I said previously, the four stadiums are superb. I would also like to thank the 450 volunteers that were here.

"Everybody in Israel can be very proud of hosting this EURO Under-21 Championship. I know that all who visited here and took part were really surprised by the quality of the pitches in particular and that is the most critical thing for football, the players and also the spectators."