Culled from FIFA.com
- 24-team tournament kicks off on 26 October
- Line-up features three tournament debutants
- Opening game: Brazil-Canada
The stage is set for the 18th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup™, with the ball set to roll in Brasilia (Gama), Goiania and Vitoria (Cariacica) for what will be the first World Cup in this category to be hosted by Brazil.
To whet your appetite and help you fully enjoy a tournament that has long been a launch pad for the stars of the future, FIFA.com summarises the key event information.
- Dates: 26 October to 17 November
- Teams: 24 teams divided into 6 groups
- Matches: 52 games
- Opening Game: Brazil-Canada, Estadio Bezerrao in Gama (Brasilia), 26 October, 17:00 local time
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F|
With their formidable record in this age category, Nigeria will once again be serious contenders. However, if they are to live up to expectations, they will have to improve on their performance at this year’s U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, where they could only manage fourth. After failing to qualify for the last edition in India two years ago, the Golden Eaglets are very keen to remind everyone why they are the most successful team in the history of this competition with eight finals and five titles to their name.
The Netherlands also arrive in confident mood after retaining their European title this year. Boasting a squad with a large contingent born outside the country, the Europeans will be hoping that the mix can help them improve on their previous best finish of third in 2005.
Despite not having a particularly good continental championship, Brazil have been preparing well in recent months. That coupled with the arrival of some new faces has the home fans dreaming of a fourth world title in this category.
France, Italy and Spain all have some very promising youngsters in their ranks and impressed during European qualifying with their respective playing styles.
Argentina showed during the South American Championship in Peru that they too possess a talented squad and have what it takes to contend in Brazil. Pablo Aimar’s charges come into the tournament hoping to win the only world title still to elude the country.
Mexico and USA – Concacaf champions and runners-up respectively – dominated their region and should not be discounted. Mexico have a particular fondness for this tournament, having won it twice before.
Keep an eye out also for Chile, who missed out on the South American Championship by a goal difference of one, and Japan, who qualified for Brazil playing a high-octane physical game.
Debutants Solomon Islands played some explosive football during their remarkable OFC qualifying success. Will they be able to replicate it and progress in Brazil?
Two years ago, at India 2017, England won their first U-17 World title by beating Spain in the final.
However, the Young Lions were eliminated during the group stage of the UEFA U-17 Championship (final tournament) held in the Republic of Ireland in May. With the English absent, Nigeria (2013-2015) and Brazil (1997-1999) will remain the only countries to win back-to-back U-17 world titles.
Did you know?
- There will be four coaches at Brazil 2019 who played at a FIFA World Cup (either main tournament or age-category one): the Argentinian Pablo Aimar, Swiss Raphael Wicky (who is coach of USA), Cameroonian Thomas Libiih and Paraguayan Gustavo Morinigo.
- Seven of the 24 have already coached at a World Cup.