Andrew breaks from his summer holidays to join with Jon Holmes from TEAMtalk, Mike Brazier from The Life Junkies and David Cartlidge from SpanishFootball.info to talk about the recent U21 European Championships in Denmark.

We talk about the Champions Spain and what made them so good. The spotlight then turns to the Olympic qualifiers Belarus and Switzerland and who impressed from them.

Also on the agenda is the plight of the English side and what went wrong in Denmark and if anything went well.

To close the show we look at the 2013 tournament in Israel. What can the Israeli people bring to the tournament and what young stars could we be looking at.

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Who said football was finished for the summer. After the Toulon Tournament the European U21 Tournament kicked off in Denmark this week. Mike Brazier from The Life Junkies is our man in Denmark (Cheltenham) for the duration of the tournament. He kicks off by guiding us through the first four matches.

So on Saturday all the waiting was over and the U21 Euros got underway. Some of the best young players in the world have the chance to gain valuable tournament experience and show the world what they can do.

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GROUP G

Ramires – Brazil – 12 caps (2 goals)

First saw Ramires in the 2009 Confederations Cup and I really thought he added something to the Brazil team, with the defensive play of Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo and the attacking flair of Kaka the team needs something in the middle, recently Elano has been that player, however when Ramires plays he adds a pace and a drive to Brazil’s midfield, scoring 2 goals against Tanzania hopefully will give him a chance to start against North Korea.
He played 30 games for Benfica this year as they won the title scoring 5 goals in the process, his speed and stamina can last the whole 90 minutes and at only 23, he has a long career ahead of him.

 

Jong Tae-Se – North Korea – 22 caps (15 goals)

Born in South Korea, he decided to play for his mother’s birth country and received a North Korean passport to let him play for North Korea, the reason I have picked Jong is that he has made a bold statement that he will score in every game he plays in South Africa, that is a bold statement for a player in a team that everyone considers as one of the weakest, I know nothing about him as a player, so looking forward to seeing what he can do.
 

 

Seydou Doumbia – Ivory Coast – 5 caps (1 goal)

One of the unknown quantities in a Ivory Coast team full of stars, Seydou has been picked for his great form for Young Boys in Switzerland in 2 years he has scored 50 goals in 64 games, a fantastic record whatever the league, and with Drogba possibly being out Seydou could get a chance to see what he can do on the International stage.
 

 

Liedson – Portugal

A player regarded as one of the best ever to wear the the Sporting jersey scoring 111 goals in 201 games a remarkable record, however at 32 he is a late starter to International football but could be the spark that Portugal have been missing in front of goal.
Posses a great eye for goal, and his instincts in front of goal are deadly, looks very lightweight, but he plays alot bigger than he looks, and a great foil for Ronaldo and Deco for Portugal.

 

GROUP H

Juan Mata – Spain – 7 caps (3 goals)

The young Valencia midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the Spain squad, a great season with Villa and co earned Mata his spot, he can play on the left or upfront, great pace and an eye for goal he has been a revelation for Valencia scoring 20 goals in 2 seasons making the blow of losing Villa and David Silva a bit of a softer blow.

Mata adds depth to an already impressive Spain midfield and be there an injury to any of the starters Juan Mata will be a very adequate replacement.

 

Xherdan Shaqiri – Switzerland – 1 cap (0 goals)

Before last week I had never heard of Xherdan, a massive surprise inclusion in Switzerland’s 23 man squad the 18 year old is one of the youngest players going to the World Cup, played 32 games for Basle this year, scoring 4 goals, he must be a talent to get so quickly called up to the first team, will be interesting to see how much game time he gets.
 

 

Carlos Pavon – Honduras – 100 caps (57 goals)

A 36 year old Honduran legend, has moved clubs 20 times, played in Serie A the MLS and now back in Hoduras with Real Espana, Honduras leading all time scorer, and has also tried his hand at a music carerer, but failed, an absolute legend in his hometown, this will be his swansong upfront for Honduras, and I hope he makes an impact on the biggest stage.
 

 

Gary Medel – Chile – 24 caps (3 goals)

Known as the Chileian Gattuso this 22 year old plays for Boca Juniors and is very highly regarded, a talented defensive midfielder known for his intensity, Gary is a player to keep an eye on.
Chile are being picked as a surprise package in South Africa and they could surprise a few and make it through the group stage, and if they do you can bet Gary will have played great in the process.

 

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