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England hero James Trafford claims he knew he'd save penalty in U21 Euros final

England hero James Trafford claims he knew he'd save penalty in U21 Euros final

James Trafford gave a brilliant post-match interview after England beat Spain in the U21 European Championship final.

England goalkeeper James Trafford gave a memorable post-match interview following his last-gasp heroics in the U21 Euros final against Spain.

The Cumbrian shot-stopper entered the history books on Saturday night, when he saved a controversial 98th-minute penalty from Abel Ruiz to help the Three Lions secure European Championship glory.

In fact, seconds after the save, Trafford blocked a rebound from Aimar Oroz before Sergio Camello skied over the crossbar.

Moments later and the majority of England's team, including Levi Colwill and Tommy Doyle, surrounded the Manchester City goalkeeper. It was the moment of the match, for sure.

After the full-time whistle, a beaming Trafford claimed he knew he was going to save the penalty which clinched England's first U21 Euros since 1984.

Speaking to UEFA TV in his post-match interview, the 20-year-old said: "I told everyone this morning I was going to save a pen. I knew I would save. It was pretty easy to be honest. I told all my mates back home I was going to save one.

"The clean sheet record means a lot to us because it would take a massive effort to get broken. We are a very good team and we believe nobody can score against us and we showed that."

England manager Lee Carsley was full of praise for the Greysouthen-born goalkeeper after his heroics against Spain.

"We’ve practised pens for 10 mins every day for the past month," he said. "James had had mixed success but the amount of work that goes in by the goalkeeping department has really helped and it’s testament to them.

"I think he’s been outstanding through the tournament. You always worry, or you’re mindful when there’s transfer things going on in the background and how that affects the players."

Cole Palmer's deflected free-kick was enough to seal victory in the end but it was Trafford, who has been heavily linked with a move to Burnley this summer, that grabbed the headlines.

Here's how social media reacted to his performance.

One fan said: "Making a double save like this to win a tournament is hugely impressive. Making the saves after a season in which you’ve kept 26 clean sheets and not let in a goal across an entire European Championship is astounding. James Trafford is the real deal."

A second wrote: "20 years old and this confident as a keeper, he's destined for the top, will be one of the world's best."

A third added: "James Trafford’s becoming one of the stories of the U21 Euros. Came from nowhere to England’s No 1. Cole Palmer: 'I've always said to him – even when we were little – that he is going to be world-class'."

Featured Image Credit: UEFA

Topics: England, Spain, Manchester City