In this El Futuro special, I will not be discussing a specific player, but a team. That is, of course, the England U17s, who have made the final of the U17 World Cup in India.
They have been impressive throughout the tournament, with a 100% record in the group stages, beating Japan on penalties, and thrashing the United States in the quarter-finals. But the most important of all, beating Brazil 3-1 in yesterday’s semi-final.
The final will take place this Saturday (October 28) in Kolkata which will kick-off at 3:30pm BST. The final will be broadcasted on BBC Two (3:20pm BST) and Eurosport 1 (3:15pm BST).
The Young Lions will take on Spain in the final, which is the repeat of the U17 European Championships final earlier this year, where England lost on penalties.
Of course, England will look to seek revenge over the Spaniards, as they will hope to lift the trophy in Kolkata.
England have scored 18 goals in the tournament so far, with 14 of them coming from open play.
I watched the semi-final between England and Brazil, and I thought the home nation was fantastic and very professional. Rhian Brewster scored his second successive hat trick, as he has scored seven goals in six games, as he looks to bring home the golden boot award. Brewster missed quite a few chances early on in the tournament but he has really kicked on in the latter stages, which is amazing to see.
We also have to give credit to the defence who have stood strong in important moment in games, as England have only conceded four goals in six games. Goalkeeper, Curtis Anderson have to take most of the credit, as he has an 82.6% save rate so far in this tournament.
To put that into context, that is the third highest overall, and the two goalkeepers above them in fellow Englishman, William Crellin and Gaizka Ipeze from New Caledonia, have only played one game each. Anderson also scored and saved a penalty in the shoot-out against Japan in the Second Round.
The two centre-backs in Marc Guehi from Chelsea, and captain, Joel Labatibeaudiere have been rock solid and have defended well, especially against the Brazilians.
With Jadon Sancho being forced to return to his club, Borussia Dortmund, the wingers have had to step up, and they have done that. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and Manchester City’s Phil Foden have been excellent in the wide positions and have created a lot of chances.
I am surprised that manager, Steve Cooper hasn’t involved Manchester United starlet, Angel Gomes, who is only 16, but when England are doing so well, then if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
With the youth England teams performing so well this summer, let’s hope this group can top it off. It’s great that they are going fair in tournaments, but it is important that they are going to play regular first-team football, and then go on to progress into the senior England team and hopefully, go far in major tournaments.