The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held in India between October 6-28.(Twitter)
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held in India between October 6-28.(Twitter)

FIFA U-17 World Cup: A brief history of the tournament

The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be held between October 6-28 and here’s a look at the history of the competition.
UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2017 07:25 PM IST

The FIFA under-17 World Cup was started way back in 1985 in Chile, but as an under-16 championship. The age-cap was increased in 1991 and has stayed that way ever since. The tournament is held every two years India will host the event’s 17th edition in October, when the event gets underway. The event also featured just 16 teams in the initial stages but in 2005, that too was changed to include 24 teams. Nigeria is the defending World champion and is also the most successful side in the tournament’s history, having lifted the trophy for a record five times. Saudi Arabia, however, hold the unique distinction to be the only Asian country to have won the World Cup back in 1989.

Year Venue Champions Runners-up Score
1985 China Nigeria West Germany 2-0
1987 Canada Soviet Union Nigeria 1–1 (4–2*)
1989 Scotland Saudi Arabia Scotland 2–2 (5–4*)
1991 Italy Ghana Spain 1–0
1993 Japan Nigeria Ghana 2–1
1995 Ecuador Ghana Brazil 3–2
1997 Egypt Brazil Ghana 2–1
1999 New Zealand Brazil Australia 0–0 (8–7*)
2001 Trinidad & Tobago France Nigeria 3–0
2003 Finland Brazil Spain 1–0
2005 Peru Mexico Brazil 3–0
2007 South Korea Nigeria Spain 0–0 (3–0*)
2009 Nigeria Switzerland Nigeria 1-0
2011 Mexico Mexico Uruguay 2-0
2013 Arab Emirates Nigeria Mexico 3-0
2015 Chile Nigeria Mali 2-0
(* on penalties)

Goals in each World Cup

Out of the 16 World Cups held till date, the 100-goal mark has been breached 10 times so far, with the first such instance coming in the 1993 edition held in Japan. However, since the turn of the century in 2001, every edition of the under-17 World Cup has seen more than a 100 goals being scored. That, however, can also attributed to the fact that 24 teams were allowed to participate in the tournaments since 2005. The highest number of goals so far was scored in the 2013 edition with goalkeepers being beaten 172 times in 52 matches at an average of 3.30. In terms of frequency, however, both the 1997 and 2003 World Cups saw 117 goals scored at an average of 3.65.

Year Venue Teams Games Goals Average
1985 China 16 32 91 2.84
1987 Canada 16 32 82 2.56
1989 Scotland 16 32 77 2.40
1991 Italy 16 32 81 2.53
1993 Japan 16 32 107 3.34
1995 Ecuador 16 32 84 2.62
1997 Egypt 16 32 117 3.65
1999 New Zealand 16 32 93 2.90
2001 Trinidad & Tobago 16 32 102 3.18
2003 Finland 16 32 117 3.65
2005 Peru 16 32 111 3.46
2007 South Korea 24 52 165 3.17
2009 Nigeria 24 52 151 2.90
2011 Mexico 24 52 158 3.03
2013 Arab Emirates 24 52 172 3.30
2015 Chile 24 52 151 2.90

Top scorer in each World Cup

There has been just one player in the tournament’s history to have breached the 10-goal mark so far. And it came in the last edition with Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen scoring 10 goals en route to guiding his side to their fifth World Cup victory. France’s Florent Sinama Pongolle and Ivory Coast’s Souleymane Coulibaly sit joint on the second spot with nine goals each to their name. And on the third sits Marcel Witeczek (playing for then West Germany) who scored eight goals in the inaugural edition.

Year Venue Player and goals
1985 China Marcel Witeczek (West Germany) 8
1987 Canada Moussa Traore (Ivory Coast) 5
Yuri Nikiforov (Soviet Union) 5
1989 Scotland Fode Camara (Guinea) 3
Khaled Jasem (Qatar) 3
Gil Gomes (Portugal) 3
Tulipa (Portugal) 3
Khalid Al Rowaihi (Saudi Arabia) 3
1991 Italy Adriano (Brazil) 4
Nii Lamptey (Ghana) 4
1993 Japan Wilson Oruma (Nigeria) 6
1995 Ecuador Daniel Allsopp(Australia) 5
Mohammed Amar Al-Kathiri (Oman) 5
1997 Egypt David (Spain) 7
1999 New Zealand Ishmael Addo (Ghana) 7
2001 Trinidad & Tobago Florent Sinama Pongolle (France) 9
2003 Finland Cesc Fabregas (Spain) 5
Carlos Hidalgo (Colombia) 5
Manuel Curto (Portugal) 5
2005 Peru Carlos Vela (Mexico) 5
2007 South Korea Macauley Chrisantus (Nigeria) 7
2009 Nigeria Sani Emmanuel (Nigeria) 5
Borja Baston (Spain) 5
2011 Mexico Souleymane Coulibaly (Ivory Coast) 9
2013 Arab Emirates Valmir Berisha (Sweden) 7
2015 Chile Victor Osimhen (Nigeria) 10
Matches with the most goals
11th September, 1997 (Ismalia, Egypt) 13 — New Zealand 0-13 Spain
19th August 2003, (Helsinki, Finland) 10 —Colombia 9-1 Finland
20th August 2003, (Tampere, Finland) 10 — Portugal 5-5 Cameroon
20th August 1991, (Livorno, Italy) 9 — Cuba 2-7 Spain
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