- Germany won UEFA EURO Under-21s
- Bodes well for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Men’s Tournament
- Spain semi-finalist, disappointed France and meritorious Romania
The UEFA EURO U-21 ended this Sunday, June 6, 2021 with the coronation of Germany, winner 1-0 of Portugal in the final. This competition, in which the four European teams qualified for Tokyo 2020 took part, gave indications on the state of form of the four nations which will represent Old continent for the next Men’s Olympic Football Tournament.
FIFA.com looks back on the course of Germany, Spain, France and Romania during this EURO.
Germany as a boss
It was an unprecedented final that was played in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Unhappy finalist against Spain during the 2019 edition, which served as a qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020, Germany won the third coronation in its history after 2009 and 2017. Defeated in the final by Brazil during the Games Rio 2016, the Germans are therefore full of confidence in view of the Japanese edition where they will enter the running on July 22, precisely facing the Selection.
Stefan Kuntz’s men, however, had a relatively sluggish course in this EURO by conceding two draws for a victory in the group stage before trembling in the quarter against Denmark (2-2, 5-6 tab) and dismissing the Netherlands in the semi-final (1-2).
In the final, they left very few opportunities for Portugal, despite being the tournament’s most prolific attack with 12 goals scored, and were very dangerous on blocks. It was Lukas Nmecha, the competition’s top scorer (4), who dealt the fatal blow at the start of the second half on a subtle service from Ridle Baku, who finished the best passer in this EURO with this third offering and was elected Player of the Final.
Record missed for Spain
Winner of the previous edition, Spain finished first in their group ahead of Italy. She was forced to play in the quarterfinal overtime against Croatia by conceding a penalty in stoppage time to finally win (2-1 ap) before being prevented from defending her title and playing her third consecutive final in s ‘Tipping in the last four against Portugal (0-1) on a goal against his camp of Jorge Cuenca.
Luis de la Fuente’s men have missed the opportunity to become the most successful nation in the history of the competition and remain five triumphs, tied with Italy.
The Blueberries in halftone
Defeated at the outset by Denmark (1-0), the French rebounded and won their two other meetings in Group C, against Russia (0-2) and Iceland (0-2), before falling against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals (2-1). “A huge disappointment,” admitted coach Sylvain Ripoll after the match where his players had opened the scoring before being caught up after the break and cracking in stoppage time.
“We will think with a rested head. Constituting the best performing group for the Olympic Games will be the subject of reflection in the days to come. But already, we will have to digest. It’s difficult to lose this match in these conditions. “, regretted the technician.
The Romanians were unable to reproduce their feat of the 2019 edition but Adrian Mutu’s men nevertheless impressed by remaining undefeated in a particularly tough Group A where they stood up to the Netherlands (1-1) and to Germany (0-0) and beat Hungary (1-2), totaling five points unfortunately insufficient to see the quarters.
“I’m a satisfied coach tonight with the attitude my players have shown on the pitch. All the performances during this tournament have been amazing. They have surpassed themselves and given their all and that’s the most important thing to me.” , said the coach after the elimination of his own.