U-17 WORLD CUP: MOST SUCCESSFUL TEAMS

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The 18th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup will begin in a few days. From 26th October 2019 to 17 November 2019 different youth teams from different nations will be slugging it out for the crown in Brazil. In this exciting read, we will be going down memory lane to see tall the teams that have experienced success in the U-17 World Cup.

FIFA U-17 World Cup Winners

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019 host

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2018

2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup hosts

Under 17 World Cup fixtures

Read more: Football’s all-time best players

NIGERIA U-17 (5 TROPHIES)

Nigeria are the most successful team in the U-17 World Cup. The African nation has won the tournament a record 5 times. No other team has more. Nigeria won the maiden edition of the tournament in 1985 which held in China. Nigeria in 1993 went on to repeat the feat again in Japan, 2007 in South Korea, and 2013 in the United Arab Emirates. This means Nigeria’s first four trophies all came on the continent of Asia. Nigeria defended the trophy the first time when they won their fifth trophy at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile. Nigeria is also the team with the highest number of golden ball winners (4).

BRAZIL U-17 (3 TROPHIES)

Brazil are the second most successful U-17 World Cup team. The Selecao won the tournament for the first time in 1997. The tournament was hosted by Egypt. The 2019 U-17 World Cup host went on to win the tournament again two years later in New Zealand to become the first team to defend the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Marcos Paqueta led Brazil to their third victory in Finland 2003 and no team has more goals since the tournament began than Brazil (159). Brazil has not won the age-grade tourney since 2003. Will the make it right on home soil?

 GHANA U-17 (2 TROPHIES)

Ghana are the first and only African nation to win both the FIFA U-17 AND U-20 World Cups. Ghana won their first trophy in 1991 when Italy hosted the tournament. Nii Lamptey won the golden ball that year. Their second victory came in 1995 in Ecuador. Ghana reached the final in 1997 but were defeated by Brazil in a repeat of 1995 final. Ghana are also the first team to have consecutive golden ball wins. This they achieved when Daniel Addo repeated Nii Lamptey’s feat in 1993. We won’t be seeing Ghana in the 2019 U-17 World Cup as they didn’t qualify.

MEXICO U-17 (2 TROPHIES)

Mexico are a force to reckon with when it comes to age-grade competitions. The North American nation won the 2005 tournament that was hosted by Peru. Carlos Vela emerged as the golden boot winner with 5 goals. 6 years later, they won the FIFA U-17 World Cup on home soil to become the first nation to host and win the tournament. Julio Gomez won the golden ball to make Mexico the second nation to have a winner of the prize as the host nation. Nigeria achieved the feat a tournament earlier. Mexico’s last appearance in the final ended in a 3-1 defeat to Nigeria.

SOVIET UNION U-17 (1 TROPHY)

Okay! This nation obviously no longer exists but they were a great footballing nation. They won the second edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Canada. They topped a group that contained Nigeria, Mexico, and Bolivia. They defeated France and Ivory Coast in the knockout and played a repeat fixture with Nigeria in the final. They won 4-2 on penalties.

SAUDI ARABIA U-17 (1 TROPHY)

Saudi Arabia are the first and only Asian nation that has won the FIFA U-17 World Cup. They achieved the feat in Scotland 2017. They were second in a group that contained Portugal, Guinea, and Colombia. They defeated Nigeria and Bahrain in the knockout stages before beating Scotland 5-4 penalties.

FRANCE U-17 (1 TROPHY)

France even though a powerhouse at the senior level has not been able to stamp their authority on this tournament. Their only victory came in 2001 in Trinidad and Tobago. Florent Sinama-Pongolle won the golden ball and the golden boot that year scoring 9 goals (the highest goals scored by any player as at that time). France defeated Nigeria 3-0 to win the trophy after dispatching Brazil and Argentina in the knockout rounds.

SWITZERLAND U-17

Switzerland were surprise winners of the 2009 U-17 World Cup. It was the first time the tournament will be played on African soil. Switzerland defeated host and holders Nigeria in the final after dispatching Germany, Italy, and Colombia in the knockout rounds. Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka and Milan’s Ricardo Rodriguez represented Switzerland in the competition. Harris Seferovic scored the winning goal.

ENGLAND U-17

England has turned out a host of football stars over the years but has not enjoyed much success when it comes to international tournaments. The senior England national team has just one World Cup which they won in 1960. England topped their group and knocked out Japan, the United States, and Brazil before smashing 5 past Spain in the final. They are the reigning champions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

 

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