Dani Ceballos has comfortably been a standout in the Euro U-21 tournament for two editions now. Clearly too good for the tournament this year, Ceballos has already come up big for Spain, and scored a great goal in a losing cause against Italy.
Tonight against Poland, Ceballos, wearing the captain’s armband, was on a different level. Playing a free-roaming #10 in a heavy possession-based scheme, Ceballos was surgical in both half-spaces, cleanly coming out of tight areas, making good runs, and finding the right pass on both sides of the field:
Ceballos was a huge part of Spain’s build-up. He had 140 touches — the most of anyone on the field. He and Fabian — another standout for Spain — stayed central, while Dani Olmo and Pablo Fornals stayed wide and stretched the field. Ceballos slung the hockey assist for Spain’s opening goal which Fornals scored, and then provided the direct assist to Mike Oyarzabal for Spain’s second:
Worth noting that Fabian — Ceballos’s wingman in this game — hit the crossbar twice from long distance, before finally scoring from outside the box before half-time:
Fabian has hit the crossbar twice from long distance. Finally gets his goal. Spain are all over Poland. Ceballos, even for his U-21 standards, has been ridiculous. Mere and Roca really good stopping counters. pic.twitter.com/Dlo1KcBQdd— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) June 22, 2019
Spain were up 3 - 0 at the half, and from there, this game was a formality. They controlled possession, and Poland looked devoid of confidence — opening up their defensive channels and barely crossing the half-way line. Ceballos iced his performance with a goal from a free-kick:
Borja Mayoral also came off the bench to score a goal — one that Poland basically asked him to score:
Ceballos’s stats were off the charts tonight: Seven shots, five key passes, seven completed dribbles, three completed tackles, 91.9% passing accuracy on 111 passes, 140 touches, one goal, one assist, one hockey assist.