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U-17 World Cup by the numbers

ESPN - Wednesday 4th October, 2017


There have been 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with the first edition held in China in 1985. India will become the fifth Asian nation to host the tournament, joining the likes of China, Japan (1993), Korea Republic (2007) and United Arab Emirates (2013).


With 15 previous appearances apiece, Brazil and USA are the nations with the most frequent appearances in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. USA failed to qualify for the 2013 edition in UAE, while Brazil missed out on being one of the 16 teams that participated in the 1993 edition in Japan.


With five titles against their name, Nigeria are the most successful team in the history of the competition, with their first title coming in 1985 in China. They won their other titles in 1993 (Japan), 2007 (Korea Republic), 2013 (UAE) and 2015 (Chile). They, however, failed to qualify for the 2017 edition, beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Niger in the second round of qualification in Africa, thus ensuring that for the first time the World Cup on Asian soil will be won by a team other than Nigeria.


Brazil's Ronaldinho is the only player to have won the title at U-17 level (1997, Egypt) and the senior level (Korea Japan, 2002). There have been 210 players who have participated in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and then gone to play for their respective nations at the FIFA World Cup.


Twelve players have gone on to feature in a FIFA World Cup final after having played for their country at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, starting with Frenchman Emmanuel Petit in 1998, with Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze being the most recent for Germany in 2014. Petit, Gotze and Spain's Andres Iniesta (2010) are the only ones to have scored in the World Cup final, while Iniesta's team-mate Iker Casillas is the only one to have lifted the FIFA World Cup as captain. Incidentally, all of these players have featured in World Cup-winning teams across the last five editions -- France, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Germany.


Debutants at this year's U-17 World Cup Niger, alongside hosts India and New Caledonia, will be making their first appearance at any FIFA tournament in the FIFA U-17 World Cup this year, thus taking the total number of countries to have taken part up from 79 to 82. While India qualified directly as hosts, Niger were among the semi-finalists at the 2017 African U-17 Cup of Nations in Gabon, while New Caledonia were runners-up behind New Zealand in the 2017 OFC Under-17 Championship, co-hosted by Samoa and Tahiti.


A total of 1859 goals have been scored in 612 matches of the tournament, with Brazil (166) and Nigeria (149) leading the way among countries that have scored the most goals. Spain and Mexico come next with 97 goals, while Germany have 92 goals in the history of the event, and would all be looking to join Brazil and Nigeria in the 100-goals club in India.

Also read

Spain vs Brazil and a chance for a German hat-trick

India drawn against USA, Colombia and Ghana in U-17 WC

Stars of the U-17 World Cup over the years


The current record for most consecutive U-17 World Cup matches in which a team has scored is 21, jointly held by Ghana and Germany. Ghana, whose streak of scoring dates back to 1997, can go solo on top if they score in the opening match of the tournament, against Colombia in New Delhi on October 6.


The biggest recorded attendance for a FIFA U-17 World Cup match was 98943, during the final of the 2011 edition in Mexico City, where Mexico beat Uruguay 2-0 to pick up their second title. Incidentally the second-highest attendance of 94379 was recorded earlier that day, when Germany beat Brazil 4-3 to win third place.


The highest-scoring match in FIFA U-17 World Cup history saw Spain win 13-0 against New Zealand in Ismailia, Egypt in 1997. This also remains the highest margin of victory in the history of the competition. This year, both teams are drawn in separate groups, with New Zealand part of Group B and Spain in Group D. The earliest they might meet is the round of 16, in case Spain finish top of their group and New Zealand are among the best four third-placed finishers across the six groups.

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