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EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona youngster Juan Miranda speaks out on Spain U-19, Barcelona academy, Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi

Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique; Barcelona’s football academy players always shine and serve well for Spain national teams in different ages.

Spain also dominates the list of most valuable players at UEFA European Under-19 Championship; Barcelona youngsters Juan Miranda, Abel Ruiz are two of six players Spain have out of the top 10 most valuable players at the tournament.

Armenia, which is a host country, are in the same group with Spain U-19, Italy U-19, Portugal-U19. In their first game, Spain U-19 side beat Armenia with a score of 4-1. Second group stage game, Santi Denia’s side held a 1-1 draw with Portugal U-19 side.

In an interview with Vbetnews, Barcelona B and Spain U-19 left-back Juan Miranda, admitted the game against defending Champions was not an easy one.

“It was a difficult game, of course, we started well, but after ten minutes, Portugal started to play better and they controlled the game,” said Miranda.

Spain U-19 side is currently the joint leader of the group A, however, they still need to beat Italy in their last group stage game and that’s why, for now, the left-back doesn’t want to think about winning the trophy.

“We are thinking only about the next game because it is the most important thing. First, we have to beat Italy, because it is just like a quarterfinal for us and then we will see,” said Miranda.

Felix Correia from Portugal U19 side preferred to play against France in the final, but Miranda does not have any preferences: “Every team is very good, they are all difficult opponents.”

Barcelona defenders are always excelled at attacking aspect and Miranda is not an exception. The left-back has scored two goals in two games and he is a joint top-scorer of the tournament, alongside Italy-U19 and Juventus U-23 midfielder Manolo Portanova. Miranda is happy for his goals, but he doesn’t think about personal records.

“I am surprised because of that but the team is more important than any personal achievements,” said the left-back.

Miranda started his career at Real Betis Yout club, but since 2015,  he has been a Barcelona Academy player. Carles Puyol, Pep Guardiola and other football legends have trained at La Masia and Miranda admits, it is really special to train there.

“Barcelona academy is very good. You don’t only educate in the sports level but also like as a person,” he said.

Training at the Barcelona academy and playing in Barcelona B gives you the chance to be next to enlightened football stars. Miranda is considered as a replacement for Jordi Alba in the Spain National team, as well as, in the Barcelona and he is used to taking advice from elder players.

Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique and other players always pay attention to youngsters, they are talking to us and give their pieces of advice,” said Miranda, who played in the Barcelona’s first team for several occasions.

Miranda was on the bench for the Group stage game against PSV Eindhoven, in last Champions League season and spent 90 minutes on the field in the game against Tottenham.  The 19-year-old was given a chance to train alongside football legend Lionel Messi and here is what the youngster said about him: “He is close and nice. He always speaks to youngsters and asks how they are doing.”

It remains to be seen, whether Miranda will continue his career at Barcelona, as rumours claim, that he could be included in a swap deal involving Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo. However, among speculations around Miranda, he is fully focused on preparations for their next group stage game against Italy, which will kick-off on Saturday, July 20.

Author-Alla Zakaryan

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