Tuesday June 18 2013
Lopetegui: 'A very hard match'

Spain Coach Julen Lopetegui was “very proud” to retain the Under-21 European title after beating Italy in “a very hard match.”

La Rojita won the competition in 2011 and repeated it in Jerusalem today, defeating the Azzurrini 4-2 in the Final.

“It’s always very hard to win. We were very happy two years ago and we are very happy now, not only with the win but also with the performance and the personality we showed,” he told

“We are very proud of this. We think the most important thing is the players’ belief in the team. They have quality but if they don’t believe in the team it’s very difficult.

“When you win you need to celebrate. We have had a very hard tournament so we are delighted with the win, with the performance and with the personality.

“Today was a very hard match for us, so we are pleased.”

Lopetegui saw a direct line between Spain’s Under-21 success and their senior World and European titles.

“We have one style and we believe in this style, we work on this style. We have good players who believe in this system, but we know it’s not perfect – in football nothing is perfect – so we keep working and trying to improve.

“But we have good players... If you don’t have good players, it’s impossible.”

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