FIFA U-17 World Cup: Brazil, Germany ready for ‘world classic’

Both Brazil and Germany are well known for their attacking football and it will certainly be a thrilling encounter when the two teams face each other in the FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinals.
Brazil will take on Germany in the FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinals in Kolkata on Saturday.(AFP)
Brazil will take on Germany in the FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinals in Kolkata on Saturday.(AFP)
Updated on Oct 22, 2017 04:45 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kolkata | By

These two countries have shared nine men’s World Cup titles among themselves. So, even when their FIFA U-17 teams meet in a World Cup quarter-final, interest peaks to see if the kids are all right.

“Brazil against Germany is a world classic, whether it is seniors or U-15s doesn’t matter. That is because both teams try to play attacking football,” said Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu here on Saturday. “Playing Brazil tomorrow will be the biggest moment of their careers,” said Germany coach Christian Wuck.

It is appropriate that the city most kicked about the World Cup got this knockout match. “That there could be 60,000 is a huge thing for us,” said Amadeu. This was while explaining the importance of feeling the “soul of a stadium”, as part of getting ready for a game.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup special: ‘Brazil have to be patient vs an intense Germany’

The Salt Lake stadium, soul and all, is likely to root for the team that is the neutral’s favourite. It fit therefore that midfielder Paulinho would say that he had the “best possible feeling” being in the amphitheatre and that Wuck would term playing in a loud stadium without many supporting them an important step in his players’ development.

‘Can’t lose to ourselves’

Brazil have been cruise-control mode but every match now is a potential banana skin. “We have prepared for two-and-a-half years. We have played against teams in Africa, North America, Asia; we have received teams in Brazil. We have even prepared for penalty-kicks.

“But the result is not in our control so the only thing we can now do is enjoy the game. But the one thing I tell my boys is: we should not lose to ourselves. If the opposition is better than us, accept the defeat,” said Amadeu.

German players train ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Brazil in Kolkata. (AP)
German players train ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Brazil in Kolkata. (AP)

For Sunday’s quarter-final, Brazil might again miss regular left-back Weverson who, Amadeu said, has a back injury. Germany will be without suspended midfielder Dennis Jastrzembski.

A decision on injured midfielder Yannik Keitel and forward Nicolas Kuehn will be taken later, said the coach, adding that midfielder Sahverdi Cetin is now fit.

A multi-cultural team

Germany will draw hope from the 4-0 victory against Colombia, a result they think has put the 0-4 defeat to Iran firmly behind them. “Iran can surprise the world. That defeat crushed us but we stood up again in the must-win game against Guinea,” said Wuck.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: High-flying Iran show possession is just a number

Now more multi-cultural than ever, the change in German society has also influenced how their teams play.

Just as Mesut Oezil, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, Ilkay Gundogan, Shkodran Mustafi have provided diversity and flair to the senior team, Elias Abouchabaka, Noah Awuku, Cetin, Yann Bisseck and John Yeboah are expected to for the under-17s.

“The influence of several mentalities has enriched our football. In the last 10 years, this has contributed to development in German football. A player like Yeboah is a good example,” said Wuck.

The last time they met in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Germany won 4-3. That was in Mexico, 2011.


    Dhiman Sarkar is based in Kolkata with over two decades as a sports journalist. He writes mainly on football.

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