Under-21 EURO final: Spain v Germany facts
Friday, June 28, 2019
Holders Germany face Spain in Udine, Italy in a repeat of the 2017 final.
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Spain and Germany meet in the final for the second successive UEFA European Under-21 Championship, with the latter looking to defend the trophy they won in Poland two years ago to the day.
• Germany, 1-0 winners in Krakow in 2017, have scored 14 goals in four games at these finals. They beat Denmark 3-1 and Serbia 6-1 before a 1-1 draw against Austria to finish top of Group B; Romania were beaten 4-2 in the semi-final, Nadiem Amiri and Luca Waldschmidt both scoring twice with the last two goals from free-kicks coming in the 90th and 94th minutes.
• Spain, in contrast, eased past France 4-1 in the last four, although they had to come from behind. The four-time champions had also recovered from an opening 3-1 defeat by Italy to finish top of Group A on three-way head-to-head records thanks to wins against Belgium (2-1) and Poland (5-0).
• This is the third time the same combination of teams have met in a U21 final. England played West Germany in 1982 and Germany in 2009; Spain and Italy have met in three finals, in 1986, 1996 and 2013.
• Germany are bidding to become the fifth country to retain the U21 title, following in the footsteps of England (1982, 1984), Italy (1992, 1994, 1996), the Netherlands (2006, 2007) and Spain (2011, 2013).
• No holders have ever lost in the U21 final; however, Spain (1986, 1998) and the Czech Republic (2002) won their titles having lost in the final two years previously.
• Only East Germany (1978, 1980) have lost successive U21 finals.
• The teams have met in seven competitive fixtures at U21 level, with Spain registering four wins to Germany's two.
• Two years ago, however, Mitchell Weiser scored a 40th-minute winner for Stefan Kuntz's Germany in the final in Krakow to give his side the trophy at the expense of a Spain side coached by Albert Celades.
• The line-ups at the Krakow Stadium on 30 June 2017 were:
Germany: Pollersbeck, Toljan, Stark, Kempf, Gerhardt, Haberer (Kohr 82), Weiser, Meyer, Arnold, Gnabry (Amiri 81), Philipp (Öztunalı 87).
Spain: Arrizabalaga, Bellerín, Jorge Meré, Jesús Vallejo, Jonny (Gayà 51), Saúl, Llorente (Mayoral 83), Ceballos, Asensio, Sandro (Williams 71), Deulofeu.
• Dani Ceballos, Jorge Meré and Jesús Vallejo, plus substitute Borja Mayoral, are all in Spain's 2019 squad, as are Carlos Soler, Mikel Oyarzabal and Mikel Merino, who were unused replacements.
• Levin Öztunalı and Amiri, who both came off the bench in Krakow, are Germany's 2017 final survivors, with Waldemar Anton and Mahmoud Dahoud unused substitutes. Anton had been called up as a late replacement for Jonathan Tah.
• On the two other occasions the sides met in final tournaments, both times in the group stage, one of them went on to lift the trophy.
• The first encounter came on the opening day of the 2009 finals, a goalless draw in Halmstad, Sweden. Spain bowed out after the group stage; Germany beat England in the final.
• In 2013 the teams were again paired in the group phase, Julen Lopetegui's Spain overcoming Rainer Adrion's Germany with a goal four minutes from time by Álvaro Morata. This time Germany went home after the group while Spain advanced to the final where they beat Italy.
• West Germany edged Spain 2-1 on aggregate in a two-legged quarter-final in 1982. Spain won the home leg 1-0 in Tenerife and held the lead until ten minutes from time in Augsburg before goals from Rudi Völler (80) and Pierre Littbarski (89) turned it round for the Germans. West Germany went on to reach the final, losing 5-4 to England over two legs.
• Spain were winners in the sides' last friendly, on 4 March 2014 in Palencia. Strikes by Morata (52) and Isco (54) earned the hosts a 2-0 victory.
• Merino and Mayoral were both on target as Spain beat Germany 3-0 in the group stage of their victorious 2015 U19 EURO campaign. Antonio Sivera, Aarón Martín, Jorge Meré, Jesús Vallejo, Dani Ceballos and Alfonso Pedraza also featured for Spain, with Unai Simón an unused substitute; Tah captained a Germany side also including Amiri and Waldschmidt.
• Öztunalı was in the Germany side that beat Spain 3-1 in the 2014 European U19 Championship elite round; Jorge Meré was an unused Spanish substitute.
• A Germany team including Arne Meier were beaten 2-1 by Spain in the 2016 U17 EURO semi-finals.
• Johannes Eggestein helped Germany beat Spain 4-2 on penalties in the 2015 U17 EURO quarter-finals after a goalless draw, despite Dani Olmo's successful spot kick for the Spanish. Markus Schubert was an unused Germany substitute.
• Spain are in the final for the fourth time in five tournaments, and the eighth overall – a new record, having previously been level with Italy on seven. Spain's final record is W4 L3:
1984: England L 0-3 on aggregate (0-1 home, 0-2 away)
1986: Italy W 3-0 pens, 3-3 on aggregate (1-2 away, 2-1 home)
1996: Italy L 1-1 (aet; 2-4 pens)
1998: Greece W 1-0
2011: Switzerland W 2-0
2013: Italy W 4-2
2017: Germany L 0-1
• Victory in Udine would take La Rojita level with Italy on a record five titles.
• This is Spain's seventh appearance in the U21 final tournament since 1998, and a fifth in the competition's last six editions. They have only failed to get past the group stage once in those seven participations, in 2009, and have now reached the final in each of their last four, lifting the trophy in 2011 and 2013.
• This time Spain qualified by finishing top of Group 2, winning nine of their ten qualifying fixtures with 31 goals scored and ten conceded.
• Defeat by Germany in the 2017 final ended Spain's ten-match unbeaten run in competitive U21 matches (W7 D3); the opening loss to Italy at these finals was only the third in their last 25 European U21 Championship games (W19 D3), the other in qualification at home to Northern Ireland on 11 September 2018 (1-2).
• Spain have won 17 of their last 20 matches at the final tournament (D1 L2); the matchday one defeat by Italy was their first in the group stage since a 2-0 reverse to England on 18 June 2009.
• The 5-0 defeat of Poland on matchday three equalled Spain's biggest win in the U21 final tournament, and was the fourth time in their last 11 matches, qualifying included, they had scored five or more goals.
• Coach Luis de la Fuente, who succeeded Celades in July 2018, led Spain to the 2015 UEFA European Under-19 Championship title in Greece with a squad including Sivera, Simón, Jorge Meré, Merino, Pedraza, Ceballos and Mayoral.
• This is Germany's fourth U21 final; their record is W2 L1:
1982: England L 4-5 on aggregate (1-3 away, 3-2 home – as West Germany)
2009: England W 4-0
2017: Spain W 1-0
• This is the first time Germany have reached successive U21 finals – six teams had reached two or more in a row before the 2019 tournament.
• Two years ago in Poland, Germany finished second in Group C, qualifying for the semi-finals as the best runners-up over the three sections; they beat England 4-3 on penalties in the last four after a 2-2 draw before seeing off Spain.
• This is the eighth time Germany have qualified for an eight or 12-team final tournament. Aside from their two titles, they were semi-finalists in 2015 and quarter-finalists in 1998. They also reached the last eight in 1990, 1992 and 1996.
• As West Germany, they were runners-up to England in 1982.
• Germany qualified for these finals as Group 5 winners, picking up 25 points from their ten fixtures (W8 D1 L1) and scoring 33 goals – the most of any of the 11 qualified teams, though non-qualifiers Portugal matched that figure. Germany's results at these finals have now extended their unbeaten run in competitive games to 11 (W9 D2).
• A 1-0 loss against Italy on matchday three in 2017 is Germany's sole defeat in their last nine matches in the final tournament (W6 D2).
• A U21 champion two years ago, Öztunalı was also part of the victorious Germany side at the 2014 European U19 Championship in Hungary.
• Lukas Nmecha scored England's winner in both the semi-final and the final at the 2017 European U19 Championship; having switched his international allegiance, the Hamburg-born striker made his Germany U21 debut against England in March.
Links and trivia
• Waldschmidt is the tournament top scorer with seven goals; he is the first German player to find the net in four consecutive games at a U21 finals.
• Aarón Martín has been a Mainz team-mate of Öztunalı and Florian Müller since August 2018.
• Jorge Meré joined Köln in July 2017, scoring once in his 48 league appearances.
• Mayoral spent 2016/17 on loan at Wolfsburg, scoring twice in 19 Bundesliga appearances.
• Jesús Vallejo featured 25 times in a loan spell at Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016/17, when Merino made eight Bundesliga appearances for Borussia Dortmund.