India is all set to host the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, scheduled to kick off from 6th October. 24 countries from six confederations will be competing for one of the biggest honours in youth football, with the matches being hosted in six cities across the country.
In this segment, we take a look at Brazil's U-17 team and guide you through their journey to the world cup, highlighting their strengths, tactics and key players.
Confederation: CONMEBOL (South America)
Nicknames: Selecao, Green and Yellows
Known for: Quick touches, triangulations, verticality, skills
Coach: Carlos Amadeu
PAST RECORDS AND LAURELS
The Brazilian U-17 national team has been crowned world champions thrice, in the years 1997, 1999 and 2003. Though it has been 14 years since they won the title, the Greens and Yellows have dominated in the South American Under-17 Football Championship, having clinched as many as 12 titles, with the latest being in 2017 and 2015.
In 32 years, 17 editions of the South American tournament have been held of which Brazil has been the most successful team in the championship's history. As far as the FIFA U-17 World Cup is concerned, only Brazil and Niegria have won back-to-back titles in this tournament.
ROAD TO U-17 WORLD CUP
Carlos Amadeu's Brazilian army booked a berth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup following their triumph in the South American Under-17 Football Championship, this year. In the 17th edition of the tournament, the Green and Yellows defeated Chile in the finale by a 5-0 scoreline. Alan Souza registered a hat-trick in the final showdown followed by goals from Paulinho and Lincoln.
Vinicius Jr., the 16-year-old sensation who will move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, was the highest scorer of the tournament having bagged seven goals. The Flamengo forward by followed by his team-mate Lincoln, who netted five goals.
It must also be noted that Brazil were the only side to be unbeaten in the final stage of the tournament, having won four times and drawn once. In the ultimate list of rankings, Brazil bossed the table on the first position, with 13 points, followed by Chile, Paraguay and Colombia who accompanied Brazil in qualifying for the world cup from CONMEBOL.
PREPARATIONS AHEAD OF THE MEGA-EVENT
From June 26th to June 30th, coach Carlos Amadeu will be working with as many as 23 players in Granja Comary football complex, the headquarters and main training centre of the Brazilian national team, as a part of the preparation for October's blockbuster tournament.
The South American side is likely to play friendlies against new opponents in the upcoming months to sustain the team's performance and match practice.
TEAM COACH AND HIS IDEOLOGY
51-year-old Bahian Carlos Amadeu, who has almost 20 years of coaching experience, is the head coach of the squad. Carlos Amadeu has extensive experience at youth level, playing a major role in developing the process by which Brazilian clubs nurture young talent. He has won titles with the likes of Bahia and Vitória and, of course, the Selecao, including the U-15 World Championship.
Carlos Amadeu has his team play a style which is reminiscent of classic Brazilian football with the focus on offensive play, quick touches, pace, skills and individual playmaking. There is also onus on the players to press the opponent whenever they lose the ball.
During the Under-17 South American tournament, Amadeu's team was compared to the iconic Brazilian national sides of 1970 and 1982, due to the beautiful style of play (jogo bonito). There were seven wins, two draws, 24 goals scored and only three conceded. Brazil might just be one of the favourites to win the tournament in India this year.
The Brazilian side, as is with any side from that part of the world, is well-gifted in terms of talent and caliber. Some of the well-known players in the side include Lucas Oliveira - defender at Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, Gustavo Henrique – midfielder of Spanish side Atletico Madrid, Lincoln – striker from Brazilian side Flamengo and many others. However, it is Vinicius Jr. who has stolen the limelight following his astonishing €45 million impending switch to Real Madrid. Known for his technique, dribbling ability and eye for goal, it is safe to say Vinicius is a gift to the Brazilian side and also a star in the making. A lot of eyes will be on him this October in India.