KEIR RADNEDGE in JERUSALEM: Coach Julen Lopetegui was celebrating not only the win but the manner of its achievement after Spain’s 4-2 dismissal of Italy in the UEFA Euro Under-21 final in the Teddy Stadium.
Spain retained the trophy they won in 2011 with a hat-trick from Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara and a penalty from Isco but the margin could have been even more decisive.
Lopetegui said: “We are happy not only for the win but for our performance and the way the personality of the team shone through.”
Any rivalries from the players’ clubs within the Spanish league had been left behind in Spain.
Lopetegui said: “The most important factor is that the players all believe in the team. If they did not have that belief it would be very difficult for me. So the most important factor is that they work hard for each other.
“All the players have a big heart and personality and they are united within the one team to gain the motivation to achieve the goal – which is to win together.”
Lopetegui also stressed the importance of the Spanish national team playing to the same style and system throughout the age groups.
He said: “It’s very important that we have one style and work every day within this style. We have good players but nothing in football is perfect so we have to keep working – in this style.”