In what will be a repeat of the Euro U-17 final, England and Spain will clash in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup final in Kolkata on Saturday. Spain emerged the victors in the Euro final held in May earlier this year, however, Spanish coach Santi Denia praised the English and said that they have "improved in every aspect of the game". England have been in mouth-watering form and have scored ton of goals en route the final while retaining their showing in defence.
"I believe England have improved in every aspect of the game. It is clear that they are defensively much better while offensively their record -- 18 goals from six matches -- speak for themselves," Denia told a press conference on the eve of the final at the Salt Lake Stadium.
"They have improved not only with the ball but they do know how to play transition football," he said while crediting England coach Steve Cooper.
"Steve has handpicked players to come here and he knows very well how to play them. He has accomplished what he was looking for," Denia added.
Spain had defeated England 4-1 on penalties in Croatia in the Euro U-17 final. However, both teams have never won the U-17 World Cup title and will start the match with a clean slate.
While England have reached the final for the first time, Spain are three-time finalists (1991, 2003 and 2007) and have the know-how on handling the pressure on the big stage.
"We have not won this title yet. We have had several good former players who have not been able to win it but we have a chance tomorrow. We are motivated as a team and we are looking for the answers, to find the best way of playing," Denia said.
On a realistic note, the former Atletico defender said: "This is the second final of this generation. We have the experience yes, but we have to understand it's not just about experience, but the game tomorrow. We need to find a way to be tranquil, to motivate them and win the title."
Asked whether the Spaniards are feeling the pressure, Denia said: "It's not pressure. We are motivated.
"In order win we have to play better. We are working on it. We should attack better in order to defend better and if we defend better we will attack better," Denia said summing up his tactics.
(With PTI Inputs)