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The veteran has backed Spain's Under-21 national team to prove their potential throughout this month's tournament

Former Real Madrid striker Raul has discussed the upcoming European under-21 championship in Denmark, and recognises the significance that the tournament could have on the careers of the young Spanish side who will be among the favourites to lift the trophy.

Spain kick-off against England on June 12, and the Schalke goal-getter has told Uefa.com that the 1996 championships, in which he competed, paved the way for a number of players to pursue international careers.

Raul and Spanish compatriot Fernando Morientes were pitted against Italians who have now become greats of the game, including Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta and Francesco Totti, and he believes the class of 2011 will increase in stature throughout the event.

He stated: "These experiences let you grow. If you take all the good things out of it, you develop further. I think Spain have always had great teams and in this upcoming Euro they will have one again.

"They will have their chance to become champions. I was still a young player, and for us those finals were like a platform to present ourselves internationally.

"People had the chance to get to know us better and watch us facing other big nations. Other clubs in foreign countries are paying attention to our young players."

Luis Milla's side face England on June 12, Czech Republic on June 15 and round off the group stage with a match against Ukraine on June 19.

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