England coach: ‘The 5-2 win tells everything about this team’

Analysing his team's unbelievable comeback after trailing 0-2 in the first 31 minutes, Cooper said, “It is little bit surreal. May be we will understand tomorrow once we realise what we have done — the football that we played, the individual talent, the team identity, the character and personality.”

Victorious England U-17 team celebrates with the trophy after winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup final against Spain in Kolkata on Saturday.   -  K.R. Deepak

“The 5-2 win (over Spain in the final) tells everything about this team,” England coach Steve Cooper said, still gasping for breath after celebrating the team’s triumph in the FIFA under-17 World Cup.

Analysing his team's unbelievable comeback after trailing 0-2 in the first 31 minutes, Cooper said, “It is little bit surreal. May be we will understand tomorrow once we realise what we have done — the football that we played, the individual talent, the team identity, the character and personality.”

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Cooper agreed that the first goal, which came in the 44th minute, came at a perfect time. “The Rhian (Brewster) goal came at the right time. It gave the boys a little bit of a boost. I don't think half-time team talk would have been much different. We just managed to keep the belief high.

“The result is amazing. The way we played — the identity and the belief for me is second to none. Showing the way we want to go. Our English teams play like that. Pass, pass, pass. Not one long ball. Good individual stuff up the pitch as well. This is the way we are going.

“This trophy is a dedication to the good work done in England, developing academies.”

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Despite winning with a big margin, Cooper showed respect to Spain. “We had a tough two games against them – EURO final and the one tonight. I have enormous respect for Santiago. Amazing team and players. They are disappointed but when dust settles, they should be proud of their work.”

 

Spain's coach Santiago Denia admitted that England played better and put his team under pressure. “We could not maintain that lead. England did step forward, put pressure on us. They forced us to play the transition game and they are very good at it. We had some open spaces back of their defenders we did have some chances. We didn't have the control of the game as much as we would have liked to.”

Denia said England had some good technical players, including Phil Foden, who made the difference. “England's first goal really hurt us. England made adjustments.”

Denia said, “I'm heartbroken because of the boys. Very proud of them. The work we have done with them in the past three years, that goes beyond the result of the final. This was the final level and expected to be this high (standard). One thing we accomplished as a team – runner-up in the world. Champion in EURO. My job was to create a group and we did that.”

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