FIFA U-17 WC: Brazil preparing stars of tomorrow

A little known fact is that the Brazilian side is among the youngest teams to feature at the tourney. Carlos Amadeu’s side features five 16-year-old players, making it among the five youngest sides in the competition. As the 52-year-old coach Amadeu says, “When a child is born in Brazil, the first gift he receives from his parents is a football.”

The Brazil coach stresses that the main aim of the tournament is to give these players international exposure and prepare them as players for the senior team.   -  AP

The Brazilian squad has had a stellar run in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The team has ticked off all the boxes needed to emerge as this edition’s champion.

The Selecao’s goalkeeper, Gabriel Brazao, – helped by a good defence led by captain Vitao da Silva Matos – has been in phenomenal form and has let in a measly two goals in five matches. The midfield has largely been orchestrated by the charismatic Alan, while the three-pronged attack-line of Brenner, Lincoln and Paulinho has fired nine of Brazil’s 11 goals so far.

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Discipline, let’s not forget discipline. The side has been awarded all of one yellow card in its five games, making it the team to receive the least number of bookings.

Coming to composure, the three-time champion has showed remarkable grit to come back from being a goal down and clinch two crunch ties – its opening game against Spain and its quarterfinal encounter against Germany. The Brazilians won both matches 2-1, thus remaining undefeated throughout the tournament.

However, a little know fact is that the Brazilian side is among the youngest teams to feature at the tourney. Carlos Amadeu’s side features five 16-year-old players, making it among the five youngest sides in the competition.

As the 52-year-old coach Amadeu says, “When a child is born in Brazil, the first gift he receives from his parents is a football.”

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“Having 16-year-olds is not a problem at all for us. It does not depend on his age; it depends on his technique and his projection towards his future. Yes, they are younger but they’re also really competitive.”

 

Amadeu is quick to add that there is fierce competition even at the age-grade level and that these players had to go through multiple levels of selections to get here. “In Brazil, there are many players from multiple youth squads. They had to beat many other players to get here,” he says.

The coach stresses that the main aim of the tournament is to give these players international exposure and prepare them as players for the senior team. “We are preparing these guys to play for the Brazil national team with the current head coach Tite. Our goal is to win the competition but the most important (aspect) is the experience for these guys, because they are being prepared to play at a professional level.”

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With the way the current crop is performing, a bunch of these players are most likely to feature in the senior team as well, much like Ronaldinho and Neymar, who also came through the U-17 World Cup.

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