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U19 finalists with the Barça seal

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Barça B

28.07.2010 19:47

U19 finalists with the Barça seal

Aida Soriano

Barcelona’s Àlex Sánchez, Martín Montoya, Marc Bartra, Carles Planas, Oriol Romeu, Thiago Alcántara and Rubén Rochina form part of the Spanish U19 side that will be facing France in the European Championship final.

1507409_w2.jpgThe team has spent the last nine months working towards this title. It all started in November 2009 in Alginet (Valencia) with the qualifying phase. In April they played in the elite round in Turkey and eventually made it into the finals in France.

The 22 strong squad features a mighty seven from FCB, all of whom have played central roles throughout each of these phases. And now they are in the final on Friday at 19.00, where they will meet the host nation, France.

Safe between sticks

In goals, Àlex Sánchez has been manager Luis Milla’s first choice in every game. In his five appearances he has only leaked three goals, the best record of any team in the competition.

Solid at the back

2009-07-29_CONCENTRACIxN_EL_MONTANYx_BARxA_ATLETIC_094.JPGMartín Montoya, Marc Bartra and Carles Planas have all starred in defence. The first two have played every game since November, while the latter missed the first phase through injury, but has always been on the manager’s mind ever since. It has been largely thanks to the left, centre and right back that Spain have only conceded eight goals in ten games, less than one a match.

Strength and creativity

Oriol_Romeu_xseleccix.jpgSince the elite stage (the second qualifying round), there has been a strong Barça flavour to the midfield. Thiago Alcántara has been the central playmaker, and Oriol Romeu has worked hard just in front of the defence. They have contributed goals. Of the 24 goals scored by the side, a third, eight, have been from Barcelona men.

Strong up front

2009-08-04_ENTRENAMIENTO_BARxA_ATLETIC_EL_MONTANYA_006.JPGRubén Rochina has hit the net four times, winning important points with goals against the likes of Norway in the first match of the elite stage, and the opening goal against Italy in the group stage.

History repeating

Eurosub19Portugal.JPGThe opposition in the final is France, who Spain already faced in the U17 final of 2008 in Turkey. The same FCB players were involved then as now, but the coach was Juan Santisteban for what resulted in a handsome 4-0 win. The only Barça player not involved in that championship was Marc Bartra, while Barça was also represented by Adrià Carmona.
Photos: / FCB archive.
Photos: / FCB archive.
Barça players’ stats
These are the stats of the seven Barça players since the start of qualification in November up until the win against England in the semi finals. In that time, Spain have played ten games (900 minutes) and scored 24 goals, eight by Barça players.

Àlex Sánchez (goalkeeper)
450 mins and 5 goals let in

Marc Bartra (centre back)
810 mins

Martín Montoya (right back)
720 mins

Carles Planas (left back)
630 mins

Oriol Romeu (defensive midfielder)
585 mins and 1 goal

Thiago Alcántara (central midfielder)
572 mins and 3 goals

Rubén Rochina (forward)
335 mins and 4 goals

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