In the 22nd FIFA World Cup, which is going to start in Qatar, many such footballers will be seen shining brightly who have shown their football skills on Indian soil as well. 12 footballers who played in the Under-17 FIFA World Cup held in India five years ago will be seen playing in the senior team for their countries in the FIFA World Cup this time.
These include England’s Phil Foden, who won the Golden Ball as the best footballer of the Under-17 World Cup, and winger Tim Weah, the son of Liberian president veteran footballer George Weah, who scored a hat-trick against Paraguay.
Foden tied the knot in Salt Lake among one lakh spectators
Five years ago, in the final of the Under-17 World Cup, Foden enthralled over one lakh spectators at the stadium in Salt Lake, Kolkata. Spain had taken a two-goal lead. The first half was over and Spain were favorites to win, but Foden teamed up with Brewster, the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals, to give England a historic victory.
Foden himself scored two goals and assisted on two goals. England eventually won 5–2 to become Under-17 World Champions. Foden scored a total of three goals in the tournament. Foden had told at the same time that he is going to achieve the status of star striker of the England team in the coming days. Now all this has been proved. The 22-year-old Foden, who plays as a forward for Manchester City, is in England’s squad for the Qatar World Cup. He is a key part of coach Gareth Southgate’s plans.
Sargent who scored against India in US team
Five years ago, the Under-17 Indian team, led by Amarjit Singh, took on the United States for the first time in a FIFA World Cup at the Nehru Stadium in Delhi. The United States were touted as title contenders, but forward Josh Sargent scored against India in the opening minutes of the game.
India lost the match 0-3, but Sargent won accolades for his performance throughout the tournament. Sargent, who played for English club Norwich City, is now one of the leading footballers of the American team. He will also be seen playing for the US in the FIFA World Cup.
President’s father scored 194 goals, now son’s turn
In this under-17 tournament, Tim Weah of America got a lot of headlines. The big reason for this was also his father George Weah. George was going to contest the election of the President of Liberia during that time. George then went on to score 78 goals in 210 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan. He also played for clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, Marseille.
He scored a total of 194 goals in 413 matches. George won the presidential election in 2018 and is currently the President of Liberia. Tim showed in the Under-17 World Cup that he too has the qualities of his father.
He scored three goals in the US’ 5–0 victory against Paraguay. He is currently playing for French football club Lille and is part of the American forward line in the FIFA World Cup. Defender Sergio Daest, who plays in the same team, is also in the US team.
Spain has also included three players from the team that played in the Under-17 World Cup for the Qatar World Cup. These include Barcelona defender Eric Garcia, Valencia central defender Hugo Galimón as well as Barcelona forward Ferran Torres, who scored in the U-17 World Cup quarter-finals and semi-finals.
Apart from Foden, England have also included Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher in the senior team. France have signed Real Madrid midfielder Orléan Tichomeny. Japan named Real Sociedad midfielder Takefusa Kubo, Costa Rica defender Danier Chacon and Ghana U-17 World Cup-winning Ajax midfielder Mohamed Kudos in their squads for the FIFA World Cup.