FIFA U-17 WC: 5 Players To Watch Out In Brazil vs Spain Game
Talking about the first match in Group D, it comes to Brazil and Spain- two of the greatest ever footballing nations on earth. Brazil has one the FIFA U17 World Cup 3 times (1997, 1999, 2003), have come runners 2times (1995, 2005), and third place once (1985). While Spain have never won this trophy, but have been runners up thrice (1991, 2003, 2007) and have come third twice (1997, 2009).
Brazil confirmed its berth to India by lifting the South American Under-17 title early this year with an unbeaten record. The team won seven of its nine games and drew the other two. It also scored 24 goals, more than any other side, and conceded the fewest (three).
On the other hand, Spain qualified for the World Cup with another title triumph, its record third, in the UEFA Under-17 Championship in May this year. Its campaign in Croatia was anything but easy. The team saw off Germany on penalties in the semifinals, and in the final against England, the favourite, it trailed by a goal until the dying seconds of the injury time. Nacho Diaz then scored off a header to restore parity for Spain, which held its nerve in the shoot-out — just as it had done in the semifinal — to beat England and win the European title.
5 Players to watch out for:
1)Alan de Souza Guimaraes: With its big star Vinicius Junior missing the World Cup after his club Flamengo barred him from travelling to India, the spotlight in the Brazilian team will now be on midfielder Alan de Souza Guimaraes. Alan scored thrice in Brazil’s 5-0 victory over host Chile in the final match of the under-17 South American Cup, which his team won in March, and also gave plenty of assists to Vinicius who finished as the championship’s top scorer.
While Real Madrid has signed Vinicius for €45 million, the Spanish giant, according to reports in the Brazilian media, was also keen to grab Alan but his club Palmeiras has put up a €50 million buyout clause in the youngster’s contract which shows that he is worth the big money too.
2)Lincoln Corrêa dos Santos (Brazil): The 16-year-old youth product from Flamengo is the man leading the Brazilians from the front. A versatile player, Lincoln can play on both wings of the pitch but he prefers playing as a centre forward.
He is currently plying his trade with the Flamengo U-20s. Lincoln helped Brazil U-17 win the South American Under-17 Championship where scoring five goals in eight matches.
3)Abel Ruiz (Spain): Barcelona’s youth team player Abel Ruiz is the key man for Spain. Over the years, Ruiz has cemented his place up front in the Barcelona youth team and was courted by some top Premier League clubs such as Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.
The 17-year-old even racked up a record 16 goals in the recently concluded EURO U-17 competition (including goals scored in qualification rounds).
4)Sergio Gomez (Spain): If it wasn’t for the heavy number of in’s and out’s, then Juvenil level player Sergio Gómez would’ve surely done pre-season with Barcelona B. Often Gomez has been situated in a wide role, either as an out and out winger due to his speed and on the ball ability, or as an interior. In some quarters there was a feeling he would move to central midfield given his quality when in possession, but thus far he’s stayed in a wide position. His versatility is often flagged up, and he can even play along the attacking line.
As well as his aforementioned qualities, Sergio is a strong dribbler and quite powerful when running. He doesn’t ignore his defensive duties either, and you can always see him looking to track back and help the team. Andres Iniesta is his idol and it’s no surprise to see that Sergio has modelled his game on the Barça legend, especially in the way he moves about the field.
5)Mateu Morey(Spain): The Barcelona talent played a key role in Spain’s triumph in the UEFA Under-17 Championship. Mateu is an attacking right-back, and the best in the business. He struck important goals for Spain during the EURO campaign.
The wonderful solo effort against France provided glimpses of his potential. He will be joining Bayern Munich shortly after the World Cup.