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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Ahead of draw, Iker Casillas and others recount their experience of the tournament

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup is less than 100 days away and preparations are in full swing in host nation India. This tournament will be the first FIFA event in the cricket-mad nation.

The World Cup will be staged between 6 and 28 October this year, with 24 teams taking part in it. India automatically qualified for the event due to their host status, and will certainly hope to make the most out the opportunity, which also happens to be India's first participation in a FIFA event. At a time when fanfare for the sport in the nation is on the rise, the tournament is being seen as an opportunity for Indian football to get a shot in the arm.

Iker Casillas was part of the Spanish side that made it to the semi-finals of the 1997 event in Egypt. Reuters

Iker Casillas was part of the Spanish side that made it to the semi-finals of the 1997 event in Egypt. Reuters

Click here for a primer on FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 and a look at the format of the tournament

The event is where stars of the 'beautiful game' are born, where the Cristiano Ronaldos and Lionel Messis get their first exposure to a global tournament. The official website of the global governing body of the sport recently caught up with some of the well-known names in the sport. Here's what the legends had to say about their experience in the tournament:

Iker Casillas (Spain, 1997): It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if they’re already playing for their clubs, they have to throw themselves into the tournament and have the highest hope. It’s a beautiful thing.

Giovani dos Santos (Mexico, 2005): Winning the title was a dream come true for me and for Mexico. It was our first world title as a country and everyone welcomed us home as heroes. We brought such joy to the people and it was amazing.

Danny Welbeck: (England, 2007): It was a great experience. It was a good chance for us to get away and test ourselves against players from different countries and different parts of the world. We all benefited from it. There’s nothing better than to represent your country, especially at such a young age.

Raheem Sterling (England, 2011): It's special to play for your country, no matter what age level. It's just that simple.

Click here to find out more about the teams participating in the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 13:45 PM

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