Ruiz, Gouiri one goal shy of U17 EURO finals mark

The record for most UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament goals by a single player could be matched or even broken when Abel Ruiz and Amine Gouiri meet on Friday.

Who comes out on top between Abel Ruiz and Amine Gouiri could decide the quarter-final
Who comes out on top between Abel Ruiz and Amine Gouiri could decide the quarter-final ©Sportsfile

Spain captain Abel Ruiz and France forward Amine Gouiri will go into Friday's quarter-final with not just a place in the last four on their minds but also the thought of potentially equalling or surpassing the all-time UEFA European Under-17 Championship finals goals record.

Both No9s have seven finals goals to their name, one short of the finals-best total of eight set by another France striker, Odsonne Edouard, in Bulgaria two years ago.

All of Gouiri's efforts came during a remarkable group stage for the Lyon player here in Croatia, the last of them an 80th-minute finish against Scotland on Tuesday that saved Lionel Rouxel's side from elimination.

2015 final: Odsonne Edouard scores first final hat-trick
2015 final: Odsonne Edouard scores first final hat-trick

Gouiri has already matched the tally posted by the 2016 finals' top marksman, José Gomes from winners Portugal. "I knew I had equalled the total from last year and I know I'm not far behind Edouard," he told UEFA.com. "I really want to beat him."

Ruiz, the leading appearance maker in U17 EURO history with 21 outings, registered four of his goals in Spain's run to the final in Azerbaijan 12 months ago, and followed that up with three more in La Roja's first two group games on Croatia's northern Adriatic coast.

Abel Ruiz (Barcelona and Spain)
U17 EURO appearances, including qualifying: 21
U17 EURO goals: 15
U17 EURO finals goals: 7
UEFA Youth League appearances/goals: 7/2

• In his debut UEFA Youth League season, Ruiz featured in seven matches as Barcelona reached the semi-finals in Nyon, where he went the duration in the 2-1 loss to Salzburg last month.

• Ruiz played all but four minutes of Spain's 2016 finals campaign in Baku, his fourth and last goal cancelling out Renat Dadashov's opener for Germany in the semi-finals.

Watch Abel Ruiz score twice in Spain's 3-1 victory over Italy last weekend
Watch Abel Ruiz score twice in Spain's 3-1 victory over Italy last weekend

Amine Gouiri (Lyon and France)
U17 EURO appearances, including qualifying: 7
U17 EURO goals: 8
U17 EURO finals goals: 7
UEFA Youth League appearances/goals: 5/0

• Gouiri's haul equals the record by one player in any UEFA final-tournament group – for men, women and futsal – shared by Spain's Jonathan Soriano (2002 U17s), Gil Gomes (Portugal in the 1989 U16s) and Gouiri's compatriot Michel Platini, who bagged seven for France in the EURO '84 group stage.

France 7-0 Faroe Islands – watch Amine Gouiri score a first-half hat-trick
France 7-0 Faroe Islands – watch Amine Gouiri score a first-half hat-trick

All time (final tournaments)
Odsonne Edouard (France) 8
José Gomes (Portugal) 7
Amine Gouiri (France) 7
Bojan Krkić (Spain) 7
David Rodríguez (Spain) 7
Jonathan Soriano (Spain) 7
Abel Ruiz (Spain) 7

All time (including qualifying)
José Gomes (Portugal) 16
Abel Ruiz (Spain) 15
Paco Alcácer (Spain) 14
Odsonne Edouard (France) 13
Manuel Fischer (Germany) 13
Timo Werner (Germany) 13

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