(By Chinmay Pagar)
FIFA U-17 World Cup is almost here and the FIFA tournament is being played in India for the very first time. It is certainly a very big deal for all the Indian football fans who have been staying up like an owl to watch the European football for years. No Indian would want to miss out watching incredibly talented future generation of football. We might have not seen this generation’s best, Messi and Ronaldo play professional games in our country, but we will proudly tell our kids about the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Jan Fiete-Arp.
Here are 6 players you shouldn’t miss out on, in this World Cup:
- Vinicius Jr. (Brazil):
Needs no introduction.Vinicius Jr. is easily the most talked about player in this World Cup and Indians are eager to watch him play. At the age of just 17, he is already called the next Neymar and hence Real Madrid paid 45 million euros to sign him after his 18th birthday. But it is not just because of what people call him, it is because of his ball control, speed and ability to swiftly move past defenders which makes him mesmerising to watch. Vinicius Jr. plays as a left-winger but due to his clinical finishing, he is also deployed as a centre forward on occasions.
He helped Brazil win the U-17 South American Championship with 7 goals. He was also named the player of the tournament and the Selecao’s will be expecting another exceptional display by the future Los Blancos player to win their 4th U-17 World Cup.
- Abel Ruiz (Spain):
Moving ahead, from future Los Blancos player to future Blaugrana player, Abel Ruiz is a graduate of famous La Masia and will be leading the Spanish side in the World Cup. Ruiz has already set the stage on fire with his performances in Euro U-17, where he led his team to 9th European Championship with his 4 goals and 3 assists. He is also the all-time top scorer for Spain’s U-17 side with 19 goals.
Ruiz is one of the biggest talent in Barca and Spain’s set-up right now and he has everything it takes to be a successful striker. With his shot-accuracy, calmness in converting the spot kicks and maturity on and off the field, Abel Ruiz is the next big thing for Spain. Watch out!
- Jann-Fiete Arp (Germany):
Hat trick in 13 minutes, 7 goals in 5 matches inEuro U-17, the numbers speak for Germany’s next MiroslavKlose. An out and out centre forward, Arp is the biggest weapon as Germanychases their first title in U-17 World Cup. He has already scored 37 goals in 45 games for Hamburger SV’s junior side.
Arp idolizes Harry Kane and just like the England striker, Arp is lethal in front of goal. He can score with both feet which makes him even more dangerous in the box. Germany’s No. 9 will be leading the team in India and will hope to do better than Euro U-17 where they were beaten by Spain in the semi-finals.
4. Amine Gouiri (France):
Amine Gouiri, another No. 9 in the Europe’s best, was on fire during the Euro U-17 in Croatia. He scored record breaking 8 goals, most in the tournament. He also scored the only goal against Hungary in the play-off for the World Cup to book France’s ticket to India.
He has scored 15 goals in 13 games for France’s U-17 side and is already training with Lyon’s first team at the age of 17. Amine is the future star for already young and talented French senior side and he is on the radar of Europe’s big clubs like Juventus and Chelsea. But for now, he is in India to win the World Cup!
- Jadon Sancho (England):
Jadon Sancho is already a big name in England and the fans have a lot of expectations from him, not just for the U-17 World Cup but also in the future. He was named the Golden Player for his 5 goals and 5 assists in Euro U-17 where England lost the final against Spain. Jadon’s spectacular performance won him many fans and Borussia Dortmund’s board was one of them. BVB bought him from Manchester City and immediately included him in the first team.
Jadon, who plays as a winger has a habit of drifting in the centre, a move which more often than not ends with opposition goalkeeper picking up the ball from the back of the net. He will be very crucial for three lions’ chances in this World Cup.
Last but not the least,
- Komal Thatal (India):
He might not be someone the European clubs are keeping an eye on (that might change soon though), he is also not a graduate of La Masia but KomalThatal is India’s flag bearer is the FIFA U-17 World Cup and there is a reason why 1.3 billion people have high expectations from him. He produced a moment for the history books of Indian Football by scoring a goal against Brazil in the BRICS U-17 tournament and if a goal against mighty Brazilians won’t make you a hero, then what will?
Born in a small village in Sikkim, Komalworked hard to be where he is today, the poster boy of India for the World Cup! Komal plays on the wings or in the midfield, positions which are best suited to his smooth ball control, creative game-play and magical touches. Komal has a vision to find perfect passes, to create goal-scoring moves but he doesn’t shy away from taking direct shots when his guts tell him to, just like his idol, Philippe Coutinho.
Blue Tigers will hope to see India’s No. 10 work his magic on the field from 6th October and as the anthem for the World Cup says, karke dikhla de goal!