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UEFA European Under-17 Championship

The Spanish teen who destroyed England: Who he is, where he plays, and his VERY famous cousin

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U 17 1/4 : spain - england : wonderful goal 11'

Image credit: Eurosport

ByEurosport
16/05/2016 at 06:52 | Updated 16/05/2016 at 14:59

Francisco Garcia is unlikely to be signing for the team you support. Unless you support Real Madrid, in which case you're all set.

The 16-year-old became a global sensation with a goal that can be comfortably described as "Maradona-esque" against England in the UEFA U17 Championship quarter-finals on Sunday.

Francisco Jose Garica Torres - or 'Fran', as he's generally known - plays as a defender or deep-lying midfielder, and picked up the ball at around the half-way mark and beat five England players with a combination of speed, dribbling and out-and-out cheek before toe-poking the ball into the net.

UEFA European Under-17 Championship

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Spain's Francisco García beats five men to score superb goal against England

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SPANISH REACTION

The goal was quite a statement from a player who is fighting for a spot in the team, and earned him a superb write-up in Spain's Marca:

"The Real Madrid player made full use of his speed to get past any opponents in his way until he reached the goal of Jared Thompson, whom he beat with a subtle strike with the left boot that finished of an electric slalom from the centre of the pitch." Yup, that pretty much says it all.

FIRST START OF THE COMPETITION

Garcia had been benched for all Spain's groups stage matches and had only earned his start against England with a starring role in the match against Italy, coming on as a sub just before half-time and scoring a key goal in a hard-fought match that finished 4-2.

Fran - aka Francisco Garcia - scores magical goal against Italy

00:01:01

In a tighter game against England his 11th-minute strike was all the more crucial, showing incredible level-headedness for a player who doesn't even turn 17 until August, and who was earning only his sixth U17 cap with Spain.

WHO IS FRAN? AND WHO IS HIS FAMOUS COUSIN?

Scouts across the world will not doubt have been Googling the player to find out who Garcia is, and will initially have been shocked to discover that he is 61 years old and played for Real Madrid in the 1970s and 1908s.

Once they found the correct Francisco Garcia, however, their hearts will no doubt have sunk: the 16-year-old, like his namesake, is already on the books at the Bernabeu. Zinedine Zidane isn't likely to offload a young player who right now is the talk of Europe. Or European under-17 football, at least.

That's despite the fact that he currently stands just 5'5" tall. Size has never been an impediment to greatness - just ask the aforementioned Maradona, or even Lionel Messi - but Fran and those around him will no doubt hope that he's got a growth spurt or two left in him.

Accoring to Real Madrid's official website, Fran is "very quick and possesses an excellent left foot. He has great ball control and is able to get to the byline with ease to put crosses in for his team-mates up front."

All of which you'd probably have guessed just from watch the footage above. But what you wouldn't have known is what comes next: Fran is a cousin of Atletico Madrid superstar Koke. Just imagine the quality of back garden football on display at those family barbecues...

ENGLISH REACTION

One man who wasn't too impressed, however, was England coach Steve Cooper, who grumbled about the result.

"It's a tough one to take. Today we've experienced the fine margins of tournament football. We could've scored three goals," he said.

"We were playing a good team, but the best side lost."

Like Real Madrid?

Get more news at www.madridistanews.com

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