A look at the top European clubs who will have most representatives in the national teams at the U-17 FIFA World Cup.
Manchester United (1)
United’s academy graduates racked up more top-flight minutes than players coming from any other system across the world last season. But at the U-17 World Cup, they’ll have just one representative — midfielder Angel Gomes (in pic). He is the first player born in 2000s to feature in a Premier League match, aged just 16. That made him the youngest ever to turn out for Manchester United since Duncan Edwards’ debut in 1953.
Manchester City (4)
Manchester United’s cross-town rivals might not have as rich a tradition but Manchester City have four representatives in this World Cup. Goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, defender Joel Latibeaudiere and midfielder Philip Foden (in pic) will turn out for England while the fourth, defender Eric Garcia, will wear the Spanish colours. Of them, Foden is the most high-profile youngster. It was reported that Pep Guardiola was left “speechless” after his performance against Manchester United during pre-season, which subsequently led to him being drafted to the senior squad.
Chelsea’s youth teams have dominated England’s Cup competitions of late, winning two FA Cups apart from one semifinal appearance. The academy has been churning out top talents consistently, with Scott Sinclair, Miroslav Stoch and Fabio Borini graduating from their Cobham training centre. Not surprisingly, they have the largest representation in the England squad. Midfielders George McEachran, Callum Hudson (in pic) and Conor Gallagher along with defenders Marc Guegi and Jonathan Panzo will travel to India for the World Cup.
Real Madrid (5)
Real Madrid arguably have one of the best training facilities in the world. And La Fabrica, The Factory, has edged out its rival Barcelona’s academy La Masia in the number of players who’ve made it to the Spanish team. Real Madrid has five players in the squad of 21 — defender Victor Chust, midfielders Antonio Blanco, Mohamed Moukhliss and forwards Pedro Ruiz (in pic) and Cesar Gelabert.
Barcelona have one less player than Real but one of their players, Abel Ruiz (in pic) , is already touted to be the next big thing. He is currently the most used player in the history of the U17 European Championship (including the qualifying round) and, with a total of 16 goals, has equalled Portuguese Jose Gomes for the most number of goals scored in the tournament’s history. Apart from him, defenders Mateu Jaume, Juan Miranda and forward Sergio Gomez are the others in the squad.
Bayern Munich (2)
Bayern have dominated the German domestic competitions but have just two representatives in the U-17 squad — defenders Alexander Nitzl (in pic) and Lars Mai. Instead, RB Leipzig players dominate the Germany squad with four. Borussia Dortmund will have one player in the tournament but he won’t turn out for Germany. Instead, the player — midfielder Jadon Sancho — will play for England.