'We deserve to be here' - Thiago leads Spain final charge

The Barcelona prospect, along with goalscorer Rodrigo and defender Marc Bartra, expressed their respective delights at helping La Rojita stay on course to defend their U21 crown
Thiago believes Spain "deserved" to reach the European U21 Championship final following their 3-0 victory over Norway in the last four on Saturday.

Goals from Isco, Rodrigo and Alvaro Morata sent La Rojita to the Jerusalem showpiece, where they will face Italy on Tuesday, and the midfielder praised his team-mates for showing the spirit of champions over the duration of the tournament.

"I think our minds were really focused on this game and getting to the final, the second one running for Spain, and I think we deserve to be in it," he is quoted as saying after Saturday's match by Uefa.

"I've been saying since the first day that this is a very complete team. In every area of the pitch we're very well set up and focused and we have to keep this going to become champions."

Rodrigo ended a recent drought with the all-important first strike against the Norwegians, and he spoke of his relief at getting back on the goal trail.

"It was a good result. We got the goals in the end and I think we coped with the pressure in the second half, although the most important thing is the win and the fact we're in the final, which was our goal," the Benfica attacker noted.

"It's always important to score. There are key moments and it was a very good goal to score as it took some of the pressure off. Norway played really well in the second half but we're happy with the win."

Finally, Marc Bartra, whose brave jump in the box laid off Rodrigo for the opening goal, was proud to have assisted his U21 colleague and ensured the Real Madrid youth product headed into the final full of confidence.

"It looked like the keeper was coming and when I saw the central defender I just gave it everything and managed to get a touch and Rodrigo scored so I'm delighted with it," the Barcelona stopped remarked.

"It's very important that all the players are feeling confident. We know [Álvaro] Morata's been getting goals; Rodrigo has maybe not had so many chances up to now but against Norway he gave everything and managed to score."