In a replay of the 2017 showpiece, Spain lined up against Germany for the final of the European under 21 championship. Set to be played out in front of a near capacity crowd in the city of Udine, the Stadio Friuli became the destination for the next instalment of our ‘Framed’ series.

Two years ago, Germany came out on top, beating Spain 1-0. Was it going to be more of the same, or was it time for a touch of revenge? Spain’s Dani Ceballos, named player of the tournament when Spain were runners-up in 2017, would certainly be hoping for the latter, and with two goals and two assists in Italy, the Real Madrid man was in the sort of form needed. But opposing him was tor-maschine, Luca Waldschmidt, who had already racked up half of Germany’s 14 goals alone.


Spain got off to a flier, much as they did in their opener against Italy. But this one did not pan out in the same way, the Spaniards learning from their mistakes. The German defence did not close down the advance of Fabian Ruiz, and he swept a 25-yard strike into the bottom corner inside ten minutes, much to the shock of the German contingency of Udine. Spain defender Jesus Vallejo was fortunate to stay on the pitch following a lunge on Waldschmidt, but Spain did not look back from there.

Dani Olmo doubled the lead midway through the second half, following in on Ruiz’s strike and finishing neatly after Alexander Nubel fumbled. Amiri gave Germany a glimmer of hope after his powerful long-range strike nicked off the head of Vallejo’s head and looped into the net, but it was too little, too late. For those that thought Spain were a spent force following the end of their Golden Generation, think again – this team is the real deal and yet another generation set to challenge on the highest level. Dominating from start to finish, Spain end as deserving champions.


Photography by Giacomo Cosua for SoccerBible.