Just over 11 months ago, Ergun Teber was among a clutch of players lying prostrate after losing out to Spain 1-0 in the final of the UEFA U-19 European Championship. Turkey's performances in Switzerland had captured the attention of a nation but the loss to a stoppage-time winner was a difficult pill to swallow. Having succumbed 3-2 defeat to La Furia in the group stage, it was the second time the talented Turkish teens were forced to sit up and watch the Spanish celebrating. 

After a long wait Turkey's captain is confident their third meeting, a Round of 16 clash at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Emmen on Wednesday, will prove very different.

"Spain are a good team but they are lacking some players from last year's European championship," he says after arriving in Emmen. "When we played them in the group stages there, everybody said we were the two best sides and would contest the final. The manner of the two losses - both in injury time - made us very upset. Now it's time for us to get revenge."

While Turkey's Sezer Ozturk appears to have hit form just at the right moment, Spain are without their goalscorer in the final, Borja, along with striker Soldado, both from Real Madrid. Arsenal midfield playmaker Cesc has come in and former senior coach Inaki Saez has replaced Armando Ufarte on the bench. Up front is all 1.94m of Athletic Bilbao hitman Fernando Llorente, equal topscorer in the tournament with five goals.

Characteristically, Teber is unafraid.

"I've been up against big men before and have had no problems," says the left-back who picks out Silva and Juanfran, the player he will be up against, as potential dangermen. "Ukraine also had tall men."

Just like in Switzerland, while Spain have breezed through with a perfect nine, Turkey have squeezed into the second round with a win (Panama, 1-0), draw (Ukraine 2-2) and defeat (China 1-2).

"We played badly in the first half of each of our group games," Teber admits. "In the second half we did much better, playing a pressure game and using the wings to our advantage.

"We had to score and we managed to get the goals we needed. We've achieved our first aim, which was to qualify for the second round, but we are capable of beating Spain. I honestly think the winner of this match will reach the final."

A natural from a very young age, football has been Teber's life. He was turning out for Kayserispor's first team at the tender age of 14 and has made startling progress since, gaining fame for his foraging runs from deep.

"I like to bomb forward at least 15 times a match," the 19-year-old says, smiling but briefly before returning to his more customary determined pose.

Kayserispor were promoted to Turkey's top flight last season. That is only one of a number of Teber's ambitions.
"My first aim was to play in the Super League by the time I was 20. I achieved that at 19," he states confidently. "My next is to play for one of the big three Istanbul clubs (Galatasaray, Besiktas and Fenerbahce) by 23. And it might well happen this year. If I do it after 23, I would consider myself unsuccessful. First I will play in Turkey and then we'll see if I go to Europe."

For the moment though the young skipper is concentrating on leading his troops against Spain.

"My Job is to protect players both on and off the pitch," he says proudly. "As captain, I am representing 70 million Turkish people."

Many of those will be glued to television sets on Wednesday watching and waiting to see if, at the final whistle, the dejected players pictured on the grass will be wearing the red of Spain rather than that of Turkey.