It's quite easy to forget that Castilla regularly lose players to their countries as well as the first team. In most cases they represent their country at youth level, but for a special few, they get full call ups, which at this stage is a remarkable achievement. This time out, Luca Zidane (France), Philipp Lienhart (Austria), Achraf (Morocco) and Martin Ødegaard (Norway) got the call up. Here's how they got on:
Luca Zidane (France u19s)
Luca Zidane continued his disastrous start to the season as he was dropped for the draw against Holland and 4-0 win over Bolivia. He was put back in between the sticks for the final game against Spain, but they lost 2-0.
Achraf (Morocco Reserves)
Achraf was treated to a slightly different experience this time around as Morocco put together a reserve side to participate in a training camp before taking on Palestine's senior team at home. The side consisted of mainly young players such as Hachim Mastour and Ismail H'Maidat. The camp was considered a success and Morocco went on to draw the game against an experienced Palestine side 0-0. Achraf played the entire game. Overall a trip worthwhile!
Philipp Lienhart (Austria U21s)
Now we get down to the business end of the Internationals! Lienhart and his Austria side had a huge play-off tie against Spain to overcome. They played the first leg at home, and were impressively the better team, but couldn't capitalize on some big chances and ended up drawing the game 1-1. Spain took a vital away goal back with them. In the return leg, Austria looked just as dangerous, but Spain were more prepared. Lienhart had a great duel with former Castilla front man Borja Mayoral, and although Mayoral played really well, Spain drew a blank with help from Lienhart!
Marcos Llorente also featured as the game finished 0-0, and Spain went through via the away goals rule. Heartbreak for Austria who had a great qualifying campaign and produced two really strong performances against one of the best Under-21 teams around. Lienhart played the whole game on both occasions, and should keep his head held high!
Martin Ødegaard (Norway U21s)
Ødegaard and Norway were in the other play-off draw against Serbia. It did not go quite as well for the Scandinavians. The first game was away in Serbia, and Norway were by far the favourites with plenty of talent on show. That's why it came as a shock when Serbia came out 2-0 winners. A below par performance gave them a lot to do, as Ødegaard was subbed off after 90 minutes. The second leg was at home and saw a lot of people from both nations turn up hoping for the best! Norway had a few players back and called in some extra reinforcements as they looked to cut the deficit, and they created more than enough chances to do so. They lacked that clinical striker which is vital in games like this. The play was at times brilliant, and they even managed to score and fight Serbia to the end, but the game finished 1-0, and Norway crashed out 2-1 on aggregate. Martin played the entire game, but leaves empty handed, losing yet another play-off.
PIC: Martin Ødegaard after the game vs Serbia. pic.twitter.com/ttwADjQ4VT— FC NORGE (@FCNorge) November 15, 2016
So, mixed feelings in terms of results and performance end this international break. I'm pretty gutted that no current Castilla player made the championships, but very happy for Spain, and wish former Castilla players Borja Mayoral and Marcos Llorente, as well as Jesús Vallejo and Marco Asensio all the best. I hope they go onto to win it. This is my first report of Castilla players on International duty, and I'd love to continue it from now on, so I hope you enjoyed reading, and I'll be sure to have you covered for the next International break!