Following U16s' victory in Madrid, we look at England's recent record against Euro and World Champions.
They may be reigning World and European Champions at Senior level and hold the European titles at Under-21 and U19 level, but England’s record against them in recent years has been good and the U16s squad continued that good run this week with a win against their Spanish counterparts in Madrid.
In fact, Spain have only beaten England once in the last two years, occurring in the semi-final of the European U19 Championship of 2010 in France when a team containing the likes of Sergio Canales, Oriol Romeu, Thiago Alcantara and Ruben Rochina beat Noel Blake’s side by 3-1.
There have been victories against Spain’s Senior, Under-21 and U17 (twice) teams in that time and Wednesday’s win for Kenny Swain’s U16 side was the latest success.
"It was a good result for us and the performance was good,” admitted Swain, who also acts as Assistant Coach to John Peacock with the U17 squad.
"It was a real international test and it’s one that everyone was really looking forward to, because it's always a challenge when you're playing Spain.
"The game was very even, but I thought we deserved it because we kept trying to win the game, particularly in the later stages.
"We defended well and we didn't have too many problems throughout the game. We were always on the front foot and looking to score goals.
"So it was a brave performance and they say 'fortune favours the brave', so it was one of those as the lads were brave enough to keep going for it.”
The results have also offered encouragement to The FA’s Director Of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking, who has been present at most of the fixtures over the last two years.
"Spain have a way of playing which all of their national teams replicate in their different age groups, they keep moving quickly and passing the ball and they are very comfortable in that playing style,” he noted.
"I think one of the key areas from their game that we need to aspire to is the decision-making. Even if you have the technical skill base, you’ve still got to know what is the right pass to make and at present, Spain are as good as anyone in selecting the right pass to hurt the opposition.
"But if you look at the transition that we’re making ourselves, we have often played well against them in recent years and enjoyed some good results.”
The list of results that England have had against Spain at all levels since June 2009 is below.
2-0 to England’s Under-21s at Euro Finals in Gothenburg on 18.6.09
2-1 to England’s U17s in Euro Final in Vaduz on 30.5.10
3-1 to Spain’s U19s in Euro Semi-Final in St-Lo on 27.7.10
2-1 to England’s U17s in Euro Qualifiers in Mol on 31.3.11
1-1 draw for U19s in Euro Qualifiers in Nyon on 5.6.11
1-1 draw for U21s in Euro Finals in Herning on 12.6.11
1-0 to England’s Seniors in Friendly at Wembley on 12.11.11
1-0 to England’s U16s in Friendly in Madrid on 15.2.12
England’s record in this period: P8 W5 D2 L1 F11 A7