Monday, November 19, 2018

Dani Ceballos: Presenting the Unsung Hero of the Star-Studded Spanish U21 Side

Dani Ceballos could be the next big thing for Spain / image via

The Under-21 Spanish squad arrived in Poland seen as the strongest team in the UEFA U21 European Championship.

Star-Studded Spain

Albert Celades’ men failed to disappoint by extending an impressive unbeaten run initiated back in March after a qualifying 3-0 defeat at the hands of Croatia. Unbeaten in nine consecutive matches, La Roja added four compelling wins in Poland to prolong their streak to 13 matches in a row without a single loss.

With only a day away from the most important match this season, that will either give credit to their formidable string of results or destroy everything these Spanish Under-21 side built over the past couple of months, La Roja are given 17/20 betting odds to emerge victorious from the UEFA Under-21 European Championship final against Germany.

The likes of Jose Luis Gaya, Denis Suarez, Inaki Williams, arguably the biggest star of the team Marco Asensio or the semi-final hat-trick hero Saul Niguez, stand as enough guarantee that the Spanish side are made favourites against the 2009 European winners Germany for a good reason.

Star-studded Spanish side offers high hope that La Roja’s future stands as bright as ever, but behind all of the much talked-about stars running the show in Poland, there stands Dani Ceballos, a stalwart which deserves to be as praised as his more illustrious teammates.

The Unsung Hero

Hard-working Real Betis midfielder made little effort to hide his disappointment over being left on the bench for the first game of the tournament. The 20-year-old was then introduced against Macedonia and put in a second-best performance against the Real Madrid star Marco Asensio.

Determined to put his desire and drive into best possible use, this temperamental Spaniard arrived in Poland to show his true worth to the world. He did it in full force during the semi-final clash against Italy when he put in a commanding display in the centre of the park.

Pitted against the high-quality Azzurri side, Dani Ceballos refused to back down and displayed great quality in possession and close to perfect distribution.

The Real Betis firebrand boasts great vision and anticipation and he grabbed the opportunity to play against Italy firmly with both hands as he made huge waves during the semi-final clash. He was unstoppable as he comfortably drifted through midfield creating all sorts of problems for Italy players and all sorts of chances for his teammates.

Ceballos ended the game with an assist to his name which does little justice to the overall impact he made in his side’s 3-1 triumph.

Decision Time

Raised and nurtured at Real Betis, Dani Ceballos is tipped to make a great career for himself.

As an exciting talent with only €15 million release clause in his contract, Ceballos looks poised to be one of the hottest commodities during the transfer summer window.

His current deal with Real Betis expires in 2018 and the club are aware there will be a battle to try and keep him in, more so with the likes of Real Madrid knocking on the door.

The Spanish media outlets have picked up on a story presented by Diario AS who believe that Ceballos is ‘inches away from becoming a Real Madrid player’. What is more, Cadena COPE radio station claim it’s a ‘done deal’.

Too Early for Real?

Despite his obvious talents and undeniable quality, Dani Ceballos should think twice before deciding to join Real Madrid however. Given the fact that La Liga champions and kings of Europe boast a rather crowded midfield, there is a valid question of minutes he could hope to get next term.

With Modric, Isco, Kovacic and James Rodriuez all occupying his preferred positions in the team, Dani Ceballos just might not get the chance he needs to reach his full potential. Staying with Betis for another year or joining another club on loan – just like Marco Asensio did before becoming a regular member of the first team at Santiago Bernabeu – could prove to be a much better option than heading straight to Los Blancos.

Either way, Dani Ceballos is the name to remember and a player that definitely has the potential to become the next big thing in Spanish football.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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