Spain beat Italy 3-1 to secure a place in the final of the Under-21 Championships on Tuesday evening.
Saúl Ñíguez’s sensational hatrick secure their place in the final round, but the spotlight was on one man, Real Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos, writes Sam May.
Ceballos, 20, has been attracting interest from clubs for a number of years and watching last night’s performance you could see why. The youngster was released by Sevilla 13 years-ago, having suffered bronchitis at the time.
Utrera later gave Cabellos a lifeline and he later joined Sevilla’s rivals Real Betis. He was given his first-team debut at 17-years-old. In August 2015, Liverpool, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid and Napoli were all interested in his signature.
Now, it is understood Real Madrid are interested in his signature and are prepared to meet his €15 million release clause and let him stay at his current club for the 2018-19 season.
Saúl made the headlines, but it was Cabellos who ran the show throughout, captivated the crowed and puzzled the Italians throughout. Spanish newspaper, Marca claimed: “three goals and a great performance from Ceballos” that had earned La Rojita their well deserved place in the final.
He showed he has the vision and the intelligence to drop his shoulder, having assisted Saúl for his opener – with a perfectly waited pass. Two areas were he showed class were when he nutmeged Roberto Gagliardini, with the Italian receiving a second yellow card after cropping Ceballos.
His run from the half way line moments later, also embarrassed the Italian players having gone past three effortlessly. After his performance in Kraków, Cabellos was linked with a move to Real Madrid and the player himself played this down, claiming he has three years left on his current Betis contract.
He wont be replacing Andres Iniesta as Barcelona’s No.8 despite praising Lionel Messi and former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola. But he could be Bernabeu bound before you know it. He will continue to impress and could be playing in the white of Los Blancos in the not too distant future.