‘Reaching semi-finals no easy feat’

Albert Celades hailed his Spain players after they reached the European Under-21 Championship semi-finals with a 100 percent record.

A goal from Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez secured Spain a 1-0 victory over Serbia on Friday, which booked their place in the last four of the competition as Group B winners.

“We’re happy with what we’re doing,” the Coach said after the game.

“Winning three games in this final phase is difficult and asks a lot of you. Portugal are a great team and have been eliminated.

“We played well in spells, but after they went a man down, they asked a little more of us.

“We’ve been able to give players the opportunity to play. It’s important in terms of managing the group.

“Given the group we were in, we thought about taking it game by game.

“We first had to put our minds on Macedonia, knowing that we were going to play Portugal after them and without thinking that we could qualify before the game against Serbia.

“Every game has been a final. We didn’t feel like favourites after the tough draw we were given.

“If [the media] are singling us out now, it’s because we’ve won our games, because of our mentality and the attitude that we’ve added to our football.

“Semi-final opponents? We have no preferences, we’re thinking about resting and there will be time to prepare for the game once we know who we’re facing.”

Tags 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Albert Celades La Rojita Serbia Spain Spain U21