Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Iker Casillas, Andrea Pirlo, Petr Cech – what do these great players have in common apart from being world class? All have stared in the UEFA Under 21 Championship in recent years and gone on to be key performers for their clubs and countries by building on the experience 

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A solid performance for the England under 21 side yesterday as Stuart Pearce – to his credit – yet again guided the side to the European Championship. It’s a shame that the match was somewhat overshadowed by the unsavoury scenes that started at the final whistle, but those issues were dealt with in this article. 

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