Rodrigo: Spain better than expected

A look ahead to Saturday's semi-finals in the European Under-21 championship.

Last Updated: 14/06/13 at 13:01 Post Comment

Spain: Have 'performed better than expected', according to Rodrigo

Spain: Have 'performed better than expected', according to Rodrigo

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Spain Under-21 striker Rodrigo feels the team have so far exceeded their own expectations with their performances at this summer's European Championships.

The defending champions go into Saturday's semi-final against Norway having finished top of Group B with maximum points from their three games, in which they scored five goals and conceded none.

Rodrigo has no doubt the success of the senior side over the last few years in claiming one World Cup and two European Championships means Spain are viewed as favourites in any match, and says the Under-21s have developed a winning mentality.

Nonetheless, the 22-year-old believes their displays at the tournament in Israel to date have been even better than what they had hoped to produce.

The Benfica man told Fox Sports Asia: "It is going well - we have won the last three games and have a good team and squad.

"We have performed better than we expected to and I hope that we can win two more matches (to win the tournament)."

Asked if he thought Spain were favourites to win the competition, Rodrigo said: "Spain is now the favourite in every game because (the senior team) have won the European Championships and the World Cup, and we have the mentality to win all of our matches. I think that we are the favourites to win this tournament.

"We have a great group (of players) - I have many friends. I have played with some of the team since I was 17 and this is the last year I can be in the Under-21 squad.

"It would be special for the group to win this tournament."

Saturday's other semi-final sees Italy - who finished top of Group A on seven points, two points clear of Norway - take on Group B runners-up Holland.

Italy's Marco Verratti scored when the seniors drew 1-1 with the Dutch in a friendly in February.

And looking ahead to this contest, the 20-year-old Paris St Germain midfielder told www.figc.it: "When you meet teams like Holland, you have to put them in trouble with the speed with which you attack spaces, because they are often pressing up top and then leave a lot of space behind.

"We (Italy Under-21s) must try to attack in the best possible way, be very quick to run with the ball and find the right spaces."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

still can't see the Phil Jones thing that some people go on about. Whenever I watch him play it's a repeat of headless chicken meets a gurning Bambi on ice for 90 minutes.

diabolicaldiaby
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

P

robably the first list I've come across in a long time where I agree with a large majority of what was written. Can't agree with everything though, Zaba has had an awful season by his standards, I'd put Monreal (a player who I've never rated) up there, gotta give credit where it's due, he's really stepped up his game.

scroteymcbooger
F365's Top Ten Defenders Of The Season

S

ome top analysis here..... UNITED WOULD BE TOP IF IT WEREN'T FOR ALL THEM GAMES THEY LOST

benvo81
United Progress Stifled By Bottom-Half Record

Footer 365

Juventus 2-1 Real Madrid: Carlos Tevez penalty hands Juve first-leg lead

Juventus will take a narrow lead into their Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid after a 2-1 win in Turin.

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini says sorry to supporters

Newcastle United captain Fabricio Coloccini has written a letter to fans apologising for recent poor results.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has hip operation in United States

Liverpool's England striker Daniel Sturridge has had an operation on his injured hip.

Mail Box

How Is Coutinho Rated Above Cazorla?

We have a mailbox packed full of views on Santi Cazorla, what Arsenal and United need this summer, the idiocy of St Totteringham's Day and rather a lot more...

Arsenal Need Three. These Three...

One mailboxer has the realistic answers to Arsenal's summer transfer needs. We also have plenty more on Newcastle fans, handballs, Chelsea selling and Johnny...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company