Image source: Matt McNulty/Getty Images
UEFA European Under-19 Championship’s 18th edition is held in Yerevan, Armenia. Eight teams were on the final tournament, however, only four qualified for the semi-finals.
Portugal U19 and Spain U19 qualified from the Group A, while France and the Republic of Ireland from the Group B. However, France U-19 team were the only side who have won all three group stage games and reached the semi-finals with 9 points.
Lionel Rouxel’s side started their journey with a 3-0 victory over the Czech Republic. In their second game, France beat the Republic of Ireland with a score of 1-0. The last group stage game, which is like a quarter-final for the youth championship, French boys played against Norway and France’s 1-0 victory ended Gunnar Halle’s hopes to qualify for the semi-finals
France U19 defensive midfielder Claudio Gomes captained his side for the game against Norway.
In an interview with Vbetnews, the youngster gave his thoughts on the match: “The game today was a preparation for the semi-final and it was pretty good.”
France will face Santi Denia’s Spain in the semi-finals and Gomes has high expectations for the upcoming game.
“We know it will be a big game against Spain. We will continue our preparations until Wednesday to be in a good shape,” said Gomes.
Gomes, who has watched the games of Spain, says it’s hard to pick who will cause more problems from the Spanish side: “It’s a real team and the collective.”
The winner of the France-Spain game will face the winner of Portugal-Republic of Ireland in the final stage. The 18-year-old refuses to tell which side he would like to see in the final. However, if France and Portugal face each other in the final, Gomes will play against his new teammate Felix Correia. The Portugal U-19 winger announced that he signed a contract with Manchester City, the side Gomes has been playing since his move from Paris Saint-Germain in 2018.
Gomes made his debut for Manchester City’s first team last year, in the Community Shield final against Chelsea(2-0) and won the trophy. The midfielder received his second chance to play in the EFL Cup and played in the fourth round game against Fulham (2-0). In his one year at City, Gomes played 5 games for U19 and 13 for U23 sides and now he gives his advice to a future teammate, Correia: “Just be natural and walk all-day.”
When it comes to advising, then, of course, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is the best consultant, however, Gomes wants to keep his advice as a secret. His full focus is now on France and the tournament.
France will face Spain U-19 in the semifinals, on Wednesday, July 24 at the Republican Stadium.