For long, this nickname has dominated narratives about Indian football. But 2017 promises to be different. And it's not just because the senior men’s team has broken the top 100 in the FIFA rankings.
The country’s hosting of the U-17 World Cup in October has been touted as a game changer. With India hosting the prestigious event, they’re guaranteed entry into the event. The tournament will be India’s first ever appearance at the finals of a FIFA event after decades of watching from afar.
In 93 days, the world’s eyes will be on India as the world’s best age group teams will descend on these shores.
But what are these teams all about? Are they anywhere similar in playing style to their senior national teams?
Starting 4 July, we begin a series of 24 features profiling all the teams who will participate in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, from tiny New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean to heavyweights Brazil from South America; from high-flying Spain, with players from youth academies of Real Madrid and Barcelona, to Mali, who have defied expectations to qualify as the best African team. From rank outsiders to heavy favourites, we tell you everything you need to know about all of them.
While the best teams from the world will be in India in October, a few heavyweights like Argentina and Italy will be conspicuous by their absence. But why have they missed the flight? And how did five-time winners and defending champions Nigeria miss out? We’ll explain that too.
Keep watching this space for profiles, factoids and much more.
Updated Date: Sep 28, 2017 14:53 PM