Spain coach Jorge Vilda says his side will stick to their slick football as they bid to retain the UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship in the final against France.
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Spain coach Jorge Vilda says his side will stay faithful to their slick brand of football when they take on France in Sunday's UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship final at the Colovray stadium in Nyon, Switzerland.
The 30-year-old is hoping to lead the Spanish youngsters to the European title for the second season in a row following their 4-1 penalty shoot-out triumph against the Republic of Ireland in last year's Stade Colovray decider.
After twice topping their group during qualification, La Rojita clinically dispatched final-round debutants Iceland 4-0 in Thursday's semi-final with an impressive display of possession and pace. Vilda, whose father Ángel led his country to the 2009 final before handing over the reins to his son, insists Spain will stick to this highly technical style of play that has served them so well over the course of the season.
"After we won the semi-final against Iceland, I didn't have a preference who we played against in the final," said Vilda. "Our aim was to get to the final and then see who we play after that. We've now had a look at France and how they play. But we always follow the same footballing philosophy. Of course, there can always be slight variations in how we play, how we set up, that we may choose to counter the opposition, but I prefer that we concentrate on ourselves and play our own game, our own style of football. That is the way in which we always approach matches."
Attacking player Alexia Putellas, whose brace against the Icelanders was just reward for an electrifying afternoon's shift, was a member of the side that lifted the trophy last year. And the 17-year-old can't wait to grab another taste of the indescribable emotion that comes from playing in – and winning – the final match.
"When you're lined up in front of all the fans before the final and they're playing the national anthem, you get goosebumps," said Putellas. "Winning the European championship is an amazing feeling, but you just can't describe it, you have to experience it. So we've been encouraging the team to try and repeat last year's triumph because it's the biggest thing you can win in international football in Europe."
The architect of three of Spain's goals on Thursday was Alba Pomares, who proved a resounding success in only her third appearance for her country at this level. "It feels great to make my first final," the 15-year-old told UEFA.com. "It's a great reward for all the hard work we have done in training. It will be really motivating to play in front of all the support; our friends and families who have made the trip over as well as the local Spanish people who come with flags and cheer us on. It's great to know friends and family back home will be watching on TV as well."
Those nearest and dearest will be able to watch Sunday's final live on Eurosport 1 at 18.00CET.