FIFA U-17 World Cup: Top Indian and foreign footballers to watch out for

Amine Gouiri (France)

France do not have an impressive record in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having played in only five of the 16 finals. However, this time they are armed with Amine Gouiri. The star attacker scored a record-breaking nine times in five matches at this year's U-17 Euros. The Lyon teen is highly skilled and has incredible pace and finishing. Expect Gouiri to score more goals in India as well.


Abel Ruiz (Spain)
Abel Ruiz

A student from Barcelona youth academy La Masia, Abel Ruiz led Spain to the under-17 European Championship in May this year. He scored four goals and registered three assists during the U-17 Euros and is pitted as one of the stars to watch out for in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Altogether, he has scored 19 goals in 23 appearances for Spain's U-17 national team.


Angel Gomes (England)
Angel Gomes

A lot of England's hopes will be pinned on skipper Angel Gomes (17). The forward honed his skills at Manchester United youth academy and even substituted ex-captain Wayne Rooney during the last game of the Red Devils' Premier League match against Crystal Palace last season. With the suspense surrounding the absence of Manchester City's Jadon Sancho, Gomes who has been in red-hot form in the UEFA Youth League, will look to carry on with the momentum. England have only qualified for the U-17 World Cup on three occasions prior to this year's edition — in 2007, 2011 and 2015.


Josh Sargent (USA)
Josh Sargent

Leading the line of USA will be Josh Sargent, a product of St Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri who has announced that he will join Bundesliga side Werder Bremen in February when he turns 18 next year. Sargent has represented USA's U-20 national side in the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year. He scored two goals as USA were knocked out in the quarter-finals by runners up Venezuela. The Stars and Stripes' danger kid scored five goals to help his side qualify for the U-17 World Cup.


Youssouf Koita (Mali)
Youssouf Koita

Youssouf Koita has put in some world class performances for U-17 Africa Cup of Nations champs Mali. One of the top 'keepers in the tournament, Koita kept five clean sheets for the side during the qualifiers. His best performance came in the semi-finals against Guinea. The game ended in a draw. In the penalty shootout, Koita saved four penalties and did not let even one shot pass him.


Indians to watch out for


Sanjeev Stalin
Sanjeev Stalin

Sanjeev Stalin leads the Indian defence and is a set piece specialist. He is likely to play on the flank, but is a handful as well in the centre. A player who can swing the ball in many different ways, his presence will bolster the Indian defence and will make it a far lesser fragile unit.


Aniket Jadhav
Aniket Jadhav

Kolhapur-born Aniket Jadhav's consistent ability to beat players ensured he graduated from a winger to the forward attack. Jadhav was also selected by West Germany great Paul Breitner to represent India at the FC Bayern Youth Cup in 2014. Many hopes will be pinned on young Jadhav, who one day dreams to play for a top club outside India. It all begins here, at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.


Three
No. of teams making their first outing at a FIFA tournament: Niger, New Caledonia and India


Four
No. of finals that have been decided via a penalty shoot-out. Each of those winners came from a different confederation


172
No. of goals scored in 52 matches at the UAE 2013, setting a new competition record, at a rate of 3.31 goals per game


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