It was common knowledge that Jona, Spain's No.10, was a penalty-box predator, a goalkeeper's worst nightmare. Less heralded was the fact he had always dreamt of playing between the sticks - and it was even more of a surprise that he had such ability with the gloves on.

In Spain's final Group C game at the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005, coach Iñaki Sáez wanted to give all his players a run-out, so in the 76th minute he brought on his third-choice keeper, Roberto. However, the youngster's moment to shine was short-lived: three minutes later he brought down the Honduras forward Guity in the area, during one of the Catrachos' most-penetrating attacks of the entire match. Cue a red card and penalty. Spain, though, had used all their substitutes.

No matter: Jona confidently walked over to the bench and told his coach: "I'll go in goal." Immediately, and without breaking a sweat, he took Roberto's gloves off the forlorn custodian, put on his goalkeeper's jersey, and positioned himself between the posts while Honduras' Ramón Núñez was placing the ball on the spot.

"Seeing that this was a chance to live one of my dreams, of keeping goal in an official tournament,  I told myself, 'I'm going in and we'll just see what happens'," the 19-year-old Espanyol player told "And once I went in goal, I didn't feel any pressure because I had nothing to lose. I was very clear in my mind as to which way I was going to dive for the  penalty, and he put it the same way, so it turned out very nicely."

The stadium erupted when the makeshift shot-stopper kept out Núñez's effort, and another ovation followed as he denied José Cruz in a one-on-one in stoppage time.

Later, a smiling Sáez admitted he already knew that his No.10 had played in goal in schoolboy and youth football. "As a boy, I always liked playing in the nets, to have a bit of fun with my friends," revealed the forward, who arrived late in the Netherlands having played for Spain's Under-21s against Bosnia-Herzegovina on 7 June - a game in which he scored a hat-trick.

Mr. Versatile
 "Watch out Kameni!" Jona's Spain team-mate Raúl Albiol shouted out during the interview, referring to the Espanyol No.1. Jona was all smiles anyway, unable to hide his satisfaction at Friday's performance. "It was one of those matches - you score at one end then save a penalty at the other."

Still, goalkeepers can continue to worry about the blond-haired Jona for more orthodox reasons. The Honduras custodian Ángel Guerra was on the receiving end of his striking ability five minutes into the game, when the teenager opened the scoring with a superb chip.

Given Honduras's heavy defeats in their first two matches, the Doetinchem crowd might have expected that goal to signal an avalanche for the Group C leaders. Instead they got three, in a 3-0 triumph. "It was a strange game, we tried as hard as ever but maybe we lacked intensity. That's probably why it wasn't a great game to watch, and there weren't that many goalscoring opportunities. But we did the job, which was to get the three points," Jona said.

Most coaches would like a player of this tyro's versatility in their team, but Jona is not getting carried away with his achievements. After taking the plaudits of his team-mates, he will step out of the spotlight and get back to focusing on what he does best: scoring goals.

Nor is he worried about the opposition ahead. "These days, if you want to reach the final you have to be prepared to beat anyone and everyone. To take the trophy home we'll have to impose ourselves in every game and on every side we face. It will be tough but we have to beat them," he explained.