Preview: The U-20 FIFA World Cup 2017


Every two years, FIFA organize a tournament for the scouts. Many talented youth players around the world, come to show their skills in the U-20 World Cup in order to be discovered by one of these scouts, mostly from Europe, where the money and famous teams are. Many football superstars were discovered in this tournament such as Maradona, Messi, James, Pogba, Prosinecki, Trezeguet, Casillas, Marquez, etc. Argentina is the national team who won the most cups so far – six times, one more then Brazil.

This time the tournament will be held in Korea Republic since May 20th – June 11th. The 24 team were divided to six groups of four. The first two from each group + the best four teams who will finish 3rd, will qualify to the next round. In this preview we’ll take a look at each group, the favorite teams and the players who may excel. The groups:


The Favorites:

Among the favorites we can count the 2016 U-19 European champions, France, who unfortunately will have to manage without their biggest star, Kylian Mbappe. Instead they will hope for another great scoring performance from Jean-Kevin Augustin, the top scorer of the U-19 European championship.

Uruguay also can be among the favorites to win. The ‘Celeste‘ won their first U-20 South American championship since 1981 and they will count on their key players, Rodrigo Amaral (top scorer in the South American championship) and Rodrigo Betancur who will join Juventus this summer.

Argentina didn’t impress in the last U-20 South American tournament but you can never ignore them. Usually they intend to perform much better in the World Cup. Lautero Martinez and Marcelo Torres will be the main threat of the Argentinean offense.

Portugal usually has excellent youth teams, even though their last U-20 title was back in 1991. This team was built mostly from Sporting Lisbon & Benfica’s “B” teams. The main target is Jose Gomes, the UEFA U-17 top scorer.

Can go all the way:

Mexico, Just like Portugal, Mexico also has several talented players and they can definitely go very far this tournament. Their hopes will be carried on striker Ronaldo Cisneros’s shoulders, their biggest star. Along with him there is Pablo Lopez the midfielder, another player who is worth scouting.

Italy returns to the World Cup for the first time since 2009 and they did it after they lost in the final of the 2016 U-19 European championship. The team is coached by ex-international Alberigo Evani and just like a typical Italian team their defense is very strong with goalkeeper Alex Meret and center back, Filippo Romagna.

Zambia can also be the surprise of the tournament. They clinched the African U-20 title and return to the World Cup after 10 years. Their biggest star is striker Junior Sakala, from CSKA Moscow.

10 players you may want to follow:

10. Issa Diop (defender, France)

9. Pervis Estupiñan (left-back, Ecuador)

8. Patson Daka (striker, Zambia)

7. Ritsu Doan (right winger, Japan)

6. Brooks Lennon (winger, USA)

5. Dominic Solanke (striker, England)

4. Yangel Herrera (midfielder, Venezuela)

3. Uriel Antuna (right-winger, Mexico)

2. Santiago Ascacibar (midfielder, Argentina)

1. Ibrahima Niane (striker, Senegal)


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