All you need to know about the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017

Highest scorer, most prolific coach to superstars who made their first mark in the U-17 World Cup and other anecdotes, there are many unknown facts waiting to be explored.

Published: 04th October 2017 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th October 2017 11:41 AM   |  A+A-

A view of statute of official mascot of FIFA under 17 world cup Football 2017 which is placed permanently at the main entrance of Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday. | PTI

By Express News Service

Highest scorer, most prolific coach to superstars who made their first mark in the U-17 World Cup and other anecdotes, there are many unknown facts waiting to be explored.


India 2017 will mark the fifth time that Asia is hosting the tournament or its previous versions. No other continent has hosted more editions.


No team has scored more goals in the U-17 World Cup than the Brazilians (166), who have won the tournament three times as well. They have played the most matches (75) too.


The Chilean tasked with leading the effort to successfully organise India’s first ever FIFA event, Javier Ceppi worked on two previous editions of the tournament as well.


Three teams — India, New Caledonia and Niger — will be making their debut at the tournament. Only on two previous occasions have there been less debutants.


One of the strongest outfits and early favourites, England has the likes of Man Utd’s Angel Gomes, City’s Phil Foden and BvB star Jadon Sancho.


The former Arsenal, Barcelona and current Chelsea player was the break-out star at the 2003 edition in Finland, winning both the Golden Ball for the best player and the Golden Shoe for the top scorer.


The Turkish club have seven players at the tournament, more than any major European club. Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea have five each.


The host nation has been eliminated eight times in the first round. Only one has gone on to win the tournament — Mexico in 2011.


The country is hosting a FIFA tournament for the first time and playing in one for the first time as well. They are in Group A alongside Colombia, USA and Ghana.

Juan Santiseban

No other coach has managed as many teams in the event as former Spain coach Santiseban. He has coached teams in seven tournaments with two-second place-finishes to show for.


Kheleo, a clouded leopard, is the official mascot of India 2017, unveiled at a ceremony in February this year.

Luis de Matos

The man who will lead India in its first ever football World Cup. He coached mainly in the second and third tiers of Portuguese football. His only top-flight experience came with Vitória Setúbal in 2006.

Mexico City

The city that hosted the U-17 World Cup’s most attended match ever. The 2011 final featuring hosts Mexico and Uruguay saw an astonishing turnout of 98,943.


The tournament’s most successful team with five titles and three runners-up positions. Nigeria won’t be adding to their kitty as they have not qualified for India 2017.


No player has ever scored as many goals in a single tournament as current Wolfsburg forward Victor Osimhen. He scored 10 in 2015, creating two more as well.


In 1987, 1989, 1999 and 2007, the final was decided on penalties and on each occasion, a team from a different confederation came out on top.


Carlos Queiroz managed Portugal at the 1989 edition, then won two U-20 World Cups and then managed them in World Cup 2010. He also took Iran to Brazil 2014 and has now qualified with them again for Russia 2018.


The Brazil legend remains the only player to have won both the U-17 World Cup and senior World Cup, winning the former in 1997 and the latter in 2002.

Salt Lake

The famed stadium in Kolkata, once the largest in Asia, will host India’s first ever World Cup final.


The current U-17 World Cup trophy was designed in 2004 by Jane Powell and Thomas Fattorini and has been made at Thomas Fattorini Limited in Birmingham.


Along with Brazil, the most regular team at the tournament. They missed out only once, in 2013.

Vinicius Jr

The most expensive U-17 player in the world, Vinicius was part of the initial Brazil squad but won’t be at the tournament. His club Flamengo did not release him.


Two-time Bundesliga winner and a UEFA Cup champion with Bayern. Before that Marcel Witeczek was the first man ever to score a hat-trick in the U-16 Championships (now the U-17 World Cup).

XI Million

The legacy programme launched by FIFA in India as a build-up to the tournament, Mission XI Million saw a dozen football festivals held across the country.


Hassan Yebda played for France in the U-17 World Cup and went on to play for Algeria in the senior World Cup. He’s not alone though — Chouki Ben Saada, Neven Subotic, Victor Moses, Tommy Smith have done the same.


Not Zinedine, but Luca. While his illustrious father did not make a mark at the tournament, Luca did a fine job in goal for France in the last edition.


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