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FIFA U17: Top 10 Potential Stars To Watch Out For In Brazil

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The 18th edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup will kick off today in Brazil as 16 countries from around the World parade their cadet teams in search for glory and more importantly for the next big football stars.

Two years ago it was India who had the honours to welcome the best teenagers from around the world, trying to achieve glory and seeking the path to emulate their idols who once in the past also threaded this route.

England for the first time in their history won the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017 and the core of the team have progressed well so far with Jadon Sancho becoming a key part of Borussia Dortmund even right from the tournament as he was called back by Dortmund at the end of the group stage.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Chelsea’s Calum Godson Odoi, Arsenal’s Smith Rowes well as Manchester United Angel Gomes were part of the triumphant squad Paris saint-Germain’s Yacine Adli also featured four the French national team in that tournament.

Talents were not scarce in the 2015 addition held in Chile, Nigeria Eorld champions for the second consecutive time after winning in the South American country Victor Osimhen who is now with Lille in the French League One was the highest goal scorer breaking the record for the most goals scored in a single FIFA under-17 competition Villareal’s Samuel Chukwueze was also a standout performer in the competition while Trent-Alexander Arnold, Dayot Upamecano both featured for England and France respectively.

10 years ago in Nigeria a lot of Brazilian stars featured in that competition goalkeeper Alisson Becker who is now a UEFA Champions League winner same as Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Mario Goetze as well as Son Heung Min, Granit Xhaka were all at the 2009 edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup.

Cesc Fabregas, John Obi Mikel, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Brazil’s Ronaldinho, David Silva, Nwankwo Kanu all passed through this stage of football. Emmnuel Petit, Landon Donovan, Gianluigi Buffon, Alessandro Del Piero, Xavi and Toni Kroos have all been a part.

Therefore as the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off in Brazil on Saturday, the players may be unknown at this stage but don’t be deceived this is where the future stars will be born catch a glimpse of them before they blossom.

 

Adil Aouchiche – FRANCE

The young midfielder is already making a name for himself at PSG, and recently became the youngest player to start a league match for PSG in their 2-0 win over Metz.

The 17-year-old signed for the French champions on July 1st, 2014, and is fast becoming a star. The youngster scored nine times at the UEFA U-17 Championships and will be one of the stars of the show.

Talles Magno – Brazil 

Just like their senior team in any tournament, hosts Brazil are among this year’s favorites. They reached the semi-finals in 2017 and have a great squad this year.

Among them is the Vasco da Gama forward Talles Magno. He is already a star with the senior team, and there is a lot of expectation around him. He will bring a lot of experience gained at the highest level to the team, and that’s what makes the team dangerous.

Gio Reyna – USA

Another American star playing for Borussia Dortmund. Reyna’s parents, Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan, are former footballers, and he has followed in their footsteps.

His talent was obvious from a young age, as he helped his team to win the Generation Adidas Cup – a competition for U17s when he was only 14. He is tipped to be a real star, and just like Christian Pulisic, he wears the number 10 jersey.

Matias Palacios – Argentina 

Palacios is Argentina’s future. He might not take over from Lionel Messi, but he has been tipped for a great future.

He will lead the young Argentines, and just like Messi, might announce his arrival on the big stage by shining in the tournament.

Lucien Agoume – France

The youngster is already a star, having featured for FC Sochaux’s senior side in France for a half a season, before moving to Inter Milan.

He was also tracked by Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester City but chose to sharpen his skills in Italy.

Alexander Aravena  – Chile

The Chilean is a beneficiary of a Sports Scholarship in Chile, which is awarded by the Municipality of Huechuraba to support and promote sports.

The striker, now 17, has been one of the shining stars for the La Rojita and starred in their last qualification match with a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over Uruguay.

He idolizes Barcelona greats Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and will be one of the key players to keep an eye on.

Etienne Eto’o Pineda – Cameroon

A decree signed by the Cameroon President Paul Biya in September 2014 has denied the son of former Cameroonian and African star Samuel Eto’o the chance to shine at the World Cup, but he is for sure one of the U-17 players to keep a keen eye on.

The decree says that the national U15 and U17 teams would be reserved for domestic-based talent only, meaning the Real Mallorca U-17 captain misses out even though he is keen on playing for the Indomitable Lions.

Pedri Gonzalez – Spain 

Pedri first came to the limelight while at Las Palmas in the second tier, catching Barcelona’s attention who moved with speed to acquire his services.

The 16-year-old is a gem, his footballing mind is way above most of his peers and he lives for goals and assists. He has already indicated he would want to announce himself on the world stage at the tournament in Brazil.

Xavi Simons – Netherlands 

Simons shares a name with one of Barcelona’s greatest midfielders ever, Xavi, and many of the club’s fans hoped he would grow at their famous La Masia academy.

He, however, broke the fans’ hearts after moving to Paris Saint-Germain, in what can be considered a coup of some sort. He will be wearing the Dutch colors in Brazil and will be one of the stars of the tournament.

Ian Maatsen – Netherlands

Maatsen joined Chelsea from PSV Eindhoven in July 2018 and is a talented lad. He can play at left-back, wing-back, center-back or in central midfield, and that versatility was utilized in his maiden season in England as he featured in a number of defensive positions for academy teams.

He will, however, be at home with the Dutch team as they parade their stars in Brazil.

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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on danycrusoe@gmail.com or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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