The FIFA U17 World Cup is one the very few competitions where African teams have been able to show dominance on the World Scene. African teams have won the competition seven times with Nigeria accounting five of the trophies and Ghana getting the other two.
However, while Ghana has not participated at the U17 for quite some time now, Nigeria have won two of the last three editions only missing the 2017 editions.
This year the 2019 edition is scheduled for Brazil and Nigeria have qualified alongside two debutants and one team who will be making their second FIFA U7 World Cup appearances and we take a look at the four Africa representatives.
Nickname: Golden Eaglets
Last Appearance: 2015
Best Performance: Winners (x5)
Coach: Manu Garba
Golden Eaglets as the Nigerians are called are the tournament’s most successful team with 8 podium finishes all being the trophy deciding final match. The West Africans have won five finals and losing three other finals.
The first of the wins came in the first edition of the competition in 1985 while they added another in 1993, 2007 and back to back wins in 2013 and 2015 make up the five title triumph by Nigeria.
With the Current Champions, England failing to qualify for the 2019 edition in Brazil, Nigeria will definitely be considered as one the favourites even though they were quite unimpressive in the CAF U17 Championship in Tanzania earlier in the year where they came fourth behind Cameroon, Senegal and Angola. However, with a coach who won the 2013 edition it may be wrong to write the west Africans off totally.
Last Appearance: –
Best Performance: Debut
Coach: Pedro Goncalves
Angola were only making their third CAF U17 Championship in Tanzania in February but they made the most of it by qualifying for their first ever FIFA U17 World Cup after coming third beating five times world champions Nigeria in the third place match.
The Palanquinhas do not posses much experience on the world level although they could look to the record making 2006 national team side who made the FIFA world cup held in Germany thirteen years ago.
With Capita, they have the highest goalscorer at the CAF competition with four goals and may likely be the team’s source of goals at the mundial against hosts Brazil, Canada and New Zealand.
Nickname: Terranga Cubs
Last Appearance: –
Best Performance: –
Coach: Malick Daff
Senegal enter this territory for the first time in their history although their qualification was on administrative basis after Guinea was stripped of their world Cup ticket for fielding over-aged players during the tournament
Guinea was abolish from the competition by CAF for age falsification. The CAF Executive Committee then approved Senegal as their replacement even though they failed to make the semi finals.
Their reward is a group D pairing with the USA, Netherlands and Japan.
Nickname: The Indomitable Cubs
Last Appearance: 2005
Best Performance: Group Stage
Coach: Thomas Libiih
The young Indomitable Lions are the Champions of Africa albeit they are appearing at their second ever FIFA U17 World Cup after lifting the African title in Tanzania.
The last time they were at the World Cup they failed to qualify from the group stage and will be hoping to go one better or even all the way in Brazil and with the CAF U17 best player Steve Mvoue and Ismaila Seidou the team’s highest goalscorer at the competition still very much in the team, fans at home will be expecting a decent outing against Spain, Argentina and Tajikistan at the world cup.