FIFA Under-17 World Cup: The honour roll

CHAMPION: 1991 and 1995.
Ghana has reached the final four times in a row (1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997) and the won the tournament twice (1991 and 1995). Known as the Black Starlets, the team has qualified for the U-17 tournament for the first time since 2007 and has been placed in Group A along with host India, Colombia and USA.
Photo: AFP
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CHAMPION: 1987.
After qualifying from the European U-16 Championship as a runner-up, Soviet Union (1987) won the World Cup title in its first attempt. It defeated Nigeria via shootout to clinch the trophy. The junior football team ceased to exist since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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CHAMPION: 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
Nigeria is the most successful nation at the U-17 World Cup (From 1985-1991, it was an U-16 tournament). In the 16 editions so far, Nigeria has reached the final eight times and won five of them including the inaugural edition in 1985. The reigning champion failed to progress to the final round of qualifiers at the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations and lost its chance to defend the title in India. Around 26 players of its U-17 squad were found over-age and sent back home during the qualifiers and the team subsequently failed to make it to India.
Photo: Getty Images
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Champion: 1997, 1999 and 2003
Brazil has made it to the final on five occasions (1995, 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2005) and has won the title thrice. The football giant will play against Spain, Niger and Korea DPR in Group D at the 2017 edition of the World Cup in India.
Photo: AFP
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CHAMPION: 2001.
Florent Sinama Pongolle (in pic) was the star when France lifted the U-17 World Cup defeating Nigeria 3-0 in the final. Since then the team has failed to qualify thrice and have reached the quarterfinals twice. In the 2017 U-17 World Cup, France has been clubbed with Honduras, Japan and New Caledonia in Group F.
Photo: SERGIO PEREZ
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CHAMPION: 2005.
Mexico registered a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Brazil to win the U-17 World Cup in Peru. In the process, it equalled the record margin of victory in an U-17 final (recorded by France in 2001 and later in 2013 by Nigeria). Mexico, which finished fourth in the 2015 edition of the tournament, has been placed in Group F along with Chile, Iraq and England for the U-17 World Cup in India.
Photo: AFP
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CHAMPION: 1989.
Saudi Arabia surprised one and all with its effective defending skills, conceded only six goals throughout the tournament. It defeated host Scotland to clinch its first World Cup title (U-16 that year). The Arab nation, however, hasn’t qualified for the U-17 World Cup since then.
Photo: FIFA
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CHAMPION: 2009.
It was Switzerland’s maiden appearance at the U-17 World Cup, but kept up its giant-killing act right through the tournament. After accounting for Brazil, Mexico and Japan in the group stage, the European team stunned Germany and Italy en route to the final. Fittingly, it beat host and favourite Nigeria 1-0 for a fairytale finish in the final. Surprisingly, that remains the only year that Switzerland has qualified for the U-17 World Cup.
Photo: FIFA
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