Spain success built on clear football identity

“With a goal scrambled in from a set piece, Brazil beat Spain 1-0 in the final of the 2003 Under-17 World Cup in Finland. Spain, though, played most of the football. ‘We were the Brazilians today,’ said their coach Juan Santiesteban, after his team of little ball-players had lost out to opponents who carried much more physical presence. The overriding objective of youth football is to groom players for the senior side. Nearly a decade on, then, it is clear who really won the game. Not one of the Brazil team has played a serious competitive international. Cesc Fabregas and David Silva, meanwhile, have gone on to better things, combining on Sunday to put Spain on the way to a third consecutive major tournament win.” BBC – Tim Vickery

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