FIFA U-17 World Cup: Three-time runners up Spain look to claim first title | fifa u17 world cup 2017 | Hindustan Times
  • Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
  •   °C  
Today in New Delhi, India
Jun 21, 2018-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Three-time runners up Spain look to claim first title

Spain will be aiming to claim their first FIFA U-17 World Cup title after finishing runners up in 1991, 2003 and 2007

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 23, 2017 18:44 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Spain have never won the FIFA U-17 World Cup despite reaching the final three times.
Spain have never won the FIFA U-17 World Cup despite reaching the final three times.(FIFA)

Spain dominated men’s football from 2008 to 2012 with the senior team winning three major titles including the World Cup. At the U-17 level, however, they haven’t been as successful. Three-time runners-up, Spain didn’t qualify for the last three editions.

That changed this year when the team won the UEFA European U-17 Championship, beating England 4-1 on penalties after the final finished 2-2 in regulation time. With Barcelona B forward Abel Ruiz Ortega and other talented players in their ranks, Spain have a promising squad that can go far. A maiden title win for the European U-17 champions shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

KNOW THE COACH: Santi Denia

The former Atletico Madrid and Spain player Santi Denia is the head coach. He has also served as an assistant manager at Atletico, eventually taking charge of one game as caretaker manager prior to the arrival of Quique Sanchez Flores. The 43-year-old will look to go one step further with this Spain U-17 team and add a world title to their triumph in Europe earlier this year.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Runners-up: 1991, 2003, 2007. Third place: 1997, 2009. Group stage: 1995, 1999, 2001. Did not qualify: 1993, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2015.

PASSAGE TO INDIA: Spain qualified by winning the UEFA U-17 European Championship this year.

Results at Euro U-17: Bt Turkey 3-2; b Italy 3-1; dw 1-1 V Croatia; bt France 3-1; dw 0-0 V Germany (won 4-2 on penalties); dw 2-2 V England (won 4-1 on penalties).

POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Abel Ruiz

Age: 17

Club: Barcelona B

Position: Forward

Why he is special: A natural goalscorer, Ruiz will have the onus of leading the Spanish attack. He scored four goals at the U-17 European Championship.

Name: Mateu Morey

Age:17

Club: Barcelona B

Position: Right-back

Why he is special: In the year, they lost Neymar, Barcelona almost had Bayern Munich successfully swooping on Morey. Having starred in their European title win, Morey will hope to shine in India as well.

Name: Victor Chust Garcia

Age: 17

Club: Real Madrid Juvenil A

Position: Centre-back

Why he is special: Billed as a future Spain senior international, Garcia is a key component of this team’s defence.