International Matches - Under 18

Meridian Cup

Spain's under 18 side finished as winners for the third time in a row of the Meridian cup, which was played in Egypt between teams from Europe and Africa from 25th January to 1st February. Juan Santiesteban's side won all four of their games, and Espanyol's Jonathan Soriano was the tournament's top scorer with six goals. (01.02.03)

Spain 6 - Mali 1

An easy win in their opening match, with Jonathan opening the scoring from the penalty spot late in the first half and adding two more to complete his hat-trick. Juanfran, Ernesto and Llorente scored the rest of Spain's goals in the second half, with Coulibaly pulling one back in between. Spain's keeper Nauzet was sent home after failing a drugs test before the game.

Spain 2 - Burkina Faso 0

A physical second game against the Africans, with both sides playing the second half with ten men after Ouattar and Llorente were sent off just before the break. Team captain Jaime Gavilán gave Santiesteban's side the lead on the quarter hour mark, with Jonathan adding a second before half time.

Spain 5 - Nigeria 0

Probably Spain's best game of the tournament, putting five goals past one of the best young sides in Africa. The Europeans were three up within the first half hour, with Jonathan scoring twice and Gavilán getting one in between, and Gavilán and substitute Soldado added two more in the last quarter of an hour of the game.

Spain 3 - Egypt 0

A finally victory against the hosts gave Spain the winners' trophy, repeating their triumphs of 1999 in South Africa and 2001 in Italy. Mamoun put through his own net in the tenth minute and Llorente and Gavilán scored two more either side of half time to round off another youth success for the Spaniards. Espanyol's Gabriel Ribas was named the best keeper in the tournament having only let in one goal in three and a half games.

Spanish squad:
Gago (Atlético), Ribas (Espanyol) and Nauzet (Las Palmas)
Defenders: Molinero (Atlético), Llamas (Barcelona), Chica and Robusté (Espanyol), Alexis (Málaga), Sergio (Oviedo)
Midfielders: Galdós (Athletic), Olmo (Barcelona), Ernesto, Juanfran and Valero (Real Madrid), Merino (Oviedo), Gavilán (Valencia)
Forwards: Llorente (Athletic), Jonathan (Espanyol), Soldado (Real Madrid)