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Fran García on ‘one of the best goals I've scored’

Published: Tuesday 17 May 2016, 11.45CET
Francisco García talks UEFA.com through his fine individual effort against England, his U17 EURO hopes and the prospect of a Spain-Real Madrid double this month.
by Wayne Harrison
from Baku
Fran García on ‘one of the best goals I've scored’
Francisco García is aiming to score for the third successive match on Wednesday ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.

Qualifying round
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the five third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.

Elite round
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 31 qualifiers plus the top seed – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.

Final tournament
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.

Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.

 

Published: Tuesday 17 May 2016, 11.45CET

Fran García on ‘one of the best goals I've scored’

Francisco García talks UEFA.com through his fine individual effort against England, his U17 EURO hopes and the prospect of a Spain-Real Madrid double this month.

"A player who unbalances opponents down the wing. He's very quick and possesses an excellent left foot," says Francisco García's profile on the Real Madrid website.

The 16-year-old has demonstrated that on more than one occasion at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Azerbaijan, scoring two goals differing in their execution but equally as eye-catching, despite starting just one match.

That was against England in the quarter-finals at the weekend, when García, on target as a substitute in La Roja's 4-2 defeat of Italy three days earlier, announced himself to a pan-European TV audience with a goal of the highest quality.

On THAT goal against England …
It's one of the best I've scored. When I received the ball the space opened up and I took the opportunity to move inside. The defenders were quite far apart, I saw the way, and so I took the chance to forge ahead. I was expecting some contact because England are a strong, physical team. The goalkeeper went down to his left so I shot down the middle and slightly to his right.

Judge for yourself – watch Fran García's superb individual goal in the quarter-finals

On playing only 44 minutes of football in the group stage ...
It was a good opportunity for my team-mates who had played before. However, I'm glad that the coach [Santi Denia] had me in his thoughts, that I was given the chance. I'm happy because I belong to the team and together we can reach the final.

On the U17 EURO experience in Azerbaijan …
It's my first time at a tournament like this. It's great to be here and the most important thing is to show people we're a good team.

Fran García scores in Spain's 4-2 victory over Italy

On Spain's performance so far and the semi-final against Germany …
We've been consistent and achieved good results as a group – we're like a small family. Germany will be very hard. We'll now watch their match [the 1-0 victory over Belgium] and assess their strengths and weaknesses.

On life at Real Madrid and playing for their Juvenil C team …
It's a unique experience because they're the best club in the world.

On Spain clinching the U17 title and Real Madrid lifting the UEFA Champions League …
It would be great because winning a tournament at this age is quite difficult, and seeing the team you support being successful is also good.

©Sportsfile

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Last updated: 17/05/16 15.13CET

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