Spain U19 have qualified for the Under-19 European Championship to be played in Romania next month. In the final qualifying round they topped a group with Switzerland, Montenegro and England.
Atlético youngster Koke started all three games and was, along with Valencia playmaker Isco, Spain’s best and most consistent performer. He was one of the holding midfielders in Lopetegui’s 4-2-3-1 formation and played in a position that comes more natural to him than the wide role he was given this season by Quique Sánchez Flores.
The young Spaniards dominated their games and Koke was the main outlet for both the defence and attack to maintain possession.
Spain U19 won their matches against Switzerland (2-1) and Montenegro (3-0) and only needed a draw in the final game against England (1-1). Koke captained the side in the last match after Barcelona’s Marc Muniesa suffered an injury.
Koke might not actually play the European Championship U19, because the tournament coincides with the World Cup U20 in Colombia, to which he is more likely to travel.
De Gea and Domínguez preparing for U21 Tournament
Meanwhile Spain’s U21 team is preparing for the European U21 Championship which kicks off next weekend. If the Rojita reach the semi finals then they’ll also qualify for the Olympics next year.
Yesterday they played a friendly match against Russia (1-1) with Álvaro Domínguez in the starting line-up, while David de Gea was left out as a precautionary measure. The goalkeeper will be fit in time to start against England in Spain U21’s first match on Sunday.
Rubén Pérez, loaned to Deportivo, is also part of the U21 squad and featured the last 20 minutes.
Over in South America five Atlético players are preparing for the Copa América which starts on the first of July. Throughout the tournament we will keep you up-to-date on the performances of Agüero, Elias, Perea and our Uruguayan duo Diego Forlán and Diego Godín!