Stars waiting to shine on global stage

Stars waiting to shine on global stage

The FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off today and the excitement surrounding it is palpable. While for the hosts India this is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the best in the world in this age category, for many of the participating teams and the players, this is a platform to showcase their skill at a global level for the very first time.

The U-17 World Cup, in the past, has also been an avenue for a number of superstars to impress the big names of world football, and this edition too promises to be no different. Here’s a look at a few boys who can make heads turn.

Abel Ruiz (Spain)

Coming from the famed Barcelona academy, Ruiz is one of the key members of the Spanish U-17 side.

The striker has been playing at the U-17 level since 2015 and has netted 19 times for his country so far. Moreover, he also scored his maiden goal for Barcelona ‘B’ against Granada recently in his first start for the team in the Segunda Division.

Josh Sargent (USA)

The hot-shot striker is one of the most talented players in action at this event. In fact, this will be Sargent’s second World Cup of the year as he had already represented USA at the Under-20 World Cup in Korea.

The 17-year-old scored two goals on his debut against Ecuador. He then played a crucial role in helping his team qualify for the U-17 World Cup in India, scoring five goals in the qualifying round.

Jann-Fiete Arp (Ger)

Champions of the world and a country well known for their youth development programme, Germany will look up to their skipper as they eye their first-ever U-17 crown.

Arp created Bundesliga history recently when he became the first player to be born in the 21st century and play in the top tier of the German football when Hamburg took on Werder Bremen.

The 17-year-old had a fruitful campaign at the U-17 Euros early this year. Arp scored two hat-tricks in four matches during the tournament in Croatia — the first one came against Bosnia and Herzegovina in just 13 minutes while the second came against Ireland.

Diego Lainez (Mexico)

He is considered to be the next big name from Mexico. The striker who plays for Club America in the Mexican league is a left-footed foward with a sharp burst of pace. One of the youngest to make his senior team debut at the club level, Lainez was also featured in The Guardian’s list of the 60 best young talents in world football. Surely, the striker will be looking to have a productive time in India.

Amine Gouiri (France)

As a 17-year-old, if the scouts of clubs like Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United and Monaco are keeping a close tab on you, then you might be doing something really good. That’s the story of the French forward Amine Gouiri.

A technically gifted striker, he relies heavily on his off-the-ball movements and is smart in creating space in a crowded area.

The Olympique Lyonnais player is blessed with an incredible pace and has developed a knack of finding the back of the net in every possible situation. He top scored with eight goals in the U-17 Euros, the qualifiers for the Worlds.

DH News Service

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