Spain looking to add U20 World Cup to their collection.
FIFA U20 World Cup
29 July - 20 August 2011
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Samuel Philip Steinbock
Spain's U20 side have only managed one World Cup triumph, much like their senior side. One thing constant in both sides, were goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Xavi and Carlos Marchena.
The current generation won the 2008 UEFA U17 European Championship and have since matured under the watchful eye of Coach Luis Milla, a former player with both Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But qualification for Colombia 2011 was a breeze for a side that like to do things in style. After finishing top of a group consisting of Croatia, Portugal and Italy, they met England in the semi-finals in Normandy last summer. Goals from Keko, Sergio Canales and Daniel Pacheco put La Roja through with a 3-1 victory and booked their place in the final. There, they met France and despite taking an early lead through Rodrigo, Spain fell apart in the second-half and eventually lost the game 2-1.
Like the senior side, the U20s boast a very skillful and formidable core. Sergio Canales of Real Madrid, Thiago of Barcelona and Iker Munian of Athletico Bilbao, who is the youngest player to score in the history of the Spanish First Division, aged 16 years and 289 days, are all players coach Milla can depend on to change a game in an instant and are likely to feature in South America.
With a highly capable supporting cast, Spain has a typically attractive side and with a slick style that goes back a long time, they will be a team no-one wants to face in the knockout stages.