2019 FIFA U17 World Cup: Meet All The Teams

The 2019 edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup Kicks off in Brazil on October 26. The South American replaced original hosts Peru in March this year and has opted to bring this tournament to the inland cities of Goiania and Brasilia, as well as Cariacica on the outskirts of the coastal city of Vitoria, giving these areas a chance to host a global soccer tournament.This will be coming after FIFA organized two largely successful competitions earlier in the year including the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland.

The draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 took place on Thursday 11 July at the home of FIFA in Zurich, where the 24 participating teams learned who their group rivals would be in their quest to become world champions. Fate decreed that Brazil and Canada would contest the opening game on Saturday 26 October at the Estadio Bezerrao in Gama.

It will be Brazil’s first time of hosting the competition and also coming in a year when they hosted and won the Copa America. The competition format still remains the same with 24 teams in 6 groups and group winners, runners up and three best third-placed teams to qualify to the next stage.

Nigeria are the most successful team in the competition with 5 trophies won in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013, 2015 however, the Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the last edition in India in 2017 which England won but they themselves would not be able to defend the trophy they won two years ago.

On Wednesday, July 11th, FIFA conducted the draws for the tourney initially scheduled for Peru but later shifted to Brazil due to an inspection of the facilities and concern over organizational challenges. Three teams namely Angola, Senegal and Solomon’s Island will be making their debut at this level and we take a look at them and all other teams gunning for the title.

GROUP A

The tournament host finds themselves in an interesting foursome as they seek to deal with the pressure of playing at home and a disappointing showing at this year’s South American U-17 Championship. Opponents Canada arrive as CONCACAF semi-finalists with an exciting group of young players, while New Zealand are the reigning Oceania champions. Angola, for their part, are the only African side making their debut this year after their best-ever performance at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.

BRAZIL

Nickname: Selecao

Appearance: 17

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Winners (x3, 1997, 1999, 2003)

Coach: Carlos Amadeu

CANADA

Nickname: The Canucks

Appearance: 7

Debut: 1987

Last Appearance: 2013

Best Performance: Group Stages

Coach: Andrew Olivieri

NEW ZEALAND

Nickname: The Young All Whites

Appearance: 9

Debut: 1997

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: R16

Coach: Jose Figueira

ANGOLA

Nickname: Palanquinhas

Appearance: 1

Debut: 2019

Last Appearance: –

Best Performance: Debut

Coach: Pedro Goncalves

GROUP B

Nigeria, the most successful team in the tournament’s history, did not have their best qualifying campaign and are matched against a determined and resilient Hungary side returning to the competition after a 34-year absence. Also, the group host are Ecuador, who played some fine attacking football during their regional qualifiers, and Australia, who recovered from a poor start in Asian qualifying to reach the semi-finals and claim a spot in Brazil

NIGERIA

Nickname: Golden Eaglets

Appearance: 12

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: Winners (x5)

Coach: Manu Garba

HUNGARY

Nickname: The Magyars

Appearance: 2

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 1985

Best Performance: Quarter-Finals

Coach: Sandor Preisinger

ECUADOR

Nickname: La Tricolor

Appearance: 4

Debut: 1987

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: Quarterfinal

Coach: Javier Rodriguez

AUSTRALIA

Nickname: Joeys

Appearance: 13

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: Runners-up (1999)

Coach: Trevor Morgan

GROUP C

The Korea Republic, who are two-time Asian champions will kick start their campaign against underdog Haiti, who performed admirably during CONCACAF qualifying to reach only their second U-17 World Cup. With a very promising generation of players to choose from, France looks like a potent rival for anyone, while Chile showed their mettle in the South American Championship, where only goal difference denied them top spot.

KOREA REPUBLIC

Nickname: The Reds

Appearance: 6

Debut: 1987

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: Quarterfinals

Coach: Kim jung Soo

HAITI

Nickname: Le Bicolors

Appearance: 2

Debut: 2007

Last Appearance: 2007

Best Performance: Group Stage

Coach: Rafael Novaes Dias

FRANCE

Nickname: Le Bleuets

Appearance: 4th

Debut: 1987

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Winners (x1 2001)

Coach: Patrick Gonfalone

CHILE

Nickname: La Rojitta

Appearance: 4th

Debut: 1993

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: 3rd place (1993)

Coach: Hernan Caputto

GROUP D

This group could be tagged the toughest of all. CONCACAF runners-up USA face a formidable rival in two-time defending European champions the Netherlands. Also in the mix are Asian holders Japan as well as a strong debutant Senegal side who can’t be brushed aside.

USA

Nickname: Baby Nats

Appearance: 16

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: 4th place (1999)

Coach: Raphael Wicky

SENEGAL

Nickname: Terranga Cubs

Appearance: –

Debut: 2019

Last Appearance: –

Best Performance:

Coach: Malick Daf

JAPAN

Nickname: Samurai Blues

Appearance: 9

Debut: 1993

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Quarter final

Coach: Yoshiro Moriyama

NETHERLANDS

Nickname: Oranje

Appearance: 3

Debut: 2005

Last Appearance: 2011

Best Performance: 3rd place (2005)

Coach: Kees Van Wonderen

GROUP E

The La Rojita are another brilliant side with a good history of the competition, they are renowned for the quality of their youth players and start off against South American champions Argentina in a match that could shape the outcome of the group. With them come Cameroon, who were miserly in defence in winning the African title, and a dangerous Tajikistan side who pulled strings of surprise in their qualifying series.

SPAIN

Nickname: La Rojita

Appearance: 11

Debut: 1991

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Runners-up x4 (1991, 2003, 2007, 2017)

Coach: David Gordo

ARGENTINA

Nickname: Albiceleste

Appearance: 13

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: 3rd place (X3 1991, 1995, 2003)

Coach: Ezequiel Baez

TAJIKISTAN

Nickname: Persian Lions

Appearance: 2

Debut: 2007

Last Appearance: 2007

Best Performance: R16

Coach: Zaynidin Rakhimov

CAMEROON

Nickname: The Indomitable Cubs

Appearance: 2

Debut: 2005

Last Appearance: 2005

Best Performance: Group Stage

Coach: Thomas Libiih

GROUP F

The Young Azzurri’s have an exciting generation of young players, and they will need the very best when they go up against a tough Mexican side with a proud record in this competition. Paraguay, who always come hard and physically read to bully anyone, will also fancy their chances of progressing to the next stage of the competition, while debutant Solomon Islands will be hoping to replay the free-flowing football that captivated Oceania fans and earned them a maiden U-17 World Cup appearance.

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Nickname: The Katukatus

Appearance: Debut

Debut: 2019

Last Appearance: –

Best Performance: –

Coach: Stanley Waitas

ITALY

Nickname: Young Azzuris

Appearance: 7

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2013

Best Performance: 4th Place (1987)

Coach: Carmine Nunziata

PARAGUAY

Nickname: Los Guaraníes La Albirroja

Appearance: 4

Debut: 1999

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Quarterfinals

Coach: Gerardo Gonzalez Aquino

MEXICO

Nickname: El Tri

Appearance: 14th

Debut: 1985

Last Appearance: 2017

Best Performance: Winners (x2 2005, 2011)

Coach: Mario Arteaga

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