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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Utrecht awaits the young pretenders


(FIFA.com) 02 Mar 2005

The 24 teams that have made it to the FIFA World Youth Championship will soon find out what fate has in store for them. The draw for the biggest event in the U-20 calendar takes place at the Jaarbeurs centre in Utrecht at 7pm on Sunday 6 March F, and you can follow it live here on FIFA.com. In the meantime, we look ahead to both the tournament and the draw itself, where FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and a certain Marco Van Basten will loom large.

While there are sure to be a few surprises before Sunday evening is through, the top seeds have been known for a while. The Netherlands figure among them as hosts, while Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Spain make the grade on account of their semi-final appearances in the United Arab Emirates 2003, as well as in that year's FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Finland. Turkey are seeded too after their place in the final of the last European Youth Championship earned them the right to represent the European zone - the most successful zone behind South America in recent competitions.

The only other certainty is that two teams from the same confederation cannot be drawn together in the same group - with the exception of Europe, which has seven sides taking part. But there is still plenty of room for all the tension and drama these events inevitably provide, and among those sure to be caught up in the excitement in the eastern Dutch town will be FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA Vice-President and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA World Youth Championship Jack A. Warner, FIFA vice-president Julio H. Grondona, FIFA Executive Committee member Senes Erzik and FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi.

FIFA Deputy General Secretary Jérôme Champagne will conduct the draw, and he will share the stage with former Dutch football stars Marco Van Basten, John van't Ship and Hans Van Breukelen, who will be adding their unique flair to proceedings.

An intriguing evening clearly lies in prospect, with barely three months to go before the FIFA World Youth Championship kicks off in earnest. FIFA's second oldest, the 28-year-old tournament is also FIFA's second-biggest in terms of competing teams, and the rule for players taking part is quite simple: to be eligible to play, they must have been born on January 1 1985 at the very latest.
A launching pad for stars
The competition was the brainchild of none other than Joseph S. Blatter in 1977, while he was serving as FIFA General Secretary, and since then it has often favoured African and South American sides. It also quickly became the launching pad for a galaxy of stars, and the list of players who have shone in years gone by speaks for itself: Diego Maradona, Bebeto, Claudio Taffarel, Luis Figo, Raul, Geremi, Hidetoshi Nakata and Javier Saviola to name but a few.

The last edition was held in the United Arab Emirates in 2003, and a thrilling competition ended with traditional heavyweights Brazil adding a fourth title to their successes in 1983, 1985 and 1995. The question is who, if anyone, will be able to take their place as champions?

Predicting an outcome looks nigh on impossible, such is the strength of the field. The qualifiers threw up some tightly-contested encounters on all five continents, and it was only at the end of January in South America that the very last place was decided. Several teams will believe they have a serious chance of winning as the action now switches to the Netherlands, marking the tournament's return to Europe for the first time since Portugal in 1991. Six stadiums have been chosen across the country, and they will play host to the cream of the planet's young talent between 10 June and 2 July . Before any of that, though, be sure not to miss Sunday's mouth-watering draw live and direct on FIFA.com. :thumbsup:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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The Fixture will go in here by tomorrow !!!! :cap:
 

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South America: Three big guns and Chile

After two mini-championships, the strongest candidates from South America congregated in Columbia to dispute their four available berths. The home side will fill one of them after building on the impressive performances of their U-17 and Under-20 teams in 2003, while traditional powerhouses Brazil and Argentina steered clear of any pitfalls to qualify too. Although Argentina looked unusually below par, much will be expected of these three teams given that they all reached the semi-finals of the 2003 edition. The fourth representative from the continent will be Chile, who booked their passage on the final day at the expense of Uruguay.
 

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Oceania: Australia untouchable, Solomon Islands show progress
As neighbours go, Australia must be almost impossible to live with for the smaller nations of the Oceanian zone. The dominant force on the continent qualified with ease again in a tournament ultimately marred by violence when the enthusiasm of some Solomon Islands supporters got out of hand during their final against Australia. An eighth straight appearance at the FIFA World Youth Championship is Australia's reward for winning that game, although the islanders can be optimistic for the future after demonstrating startlingly-rapid progress. Quite the opposite applies to New Zealand, who failed to even reach the semi-finals.
 

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Europe: Spain again, and some attractive outsiders

At youth level, Spain consistently field one of the strongest sides on the planet. World finalists in 2003 and winners in 1999, the Spanish have a whole collection of European titles to their name and strutted to victory in Switzerland last July. Their only real test came against the Ukraine, who took them to a penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals and promise to be a team to look out for in the Netherlands. As do beaten finalists Turkey and the fourth semi-finalists Switzerland, a gifted, courageous and enthusiastic group of players. Germany and Italy, on the other hand, will need to improve considerably if they are to avoid an early exit this summer.
 

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North, Central America and the Caribbean: Mexico miss out! :howler:

Qualification places were up for grabs in two separate CONCACAF tournaments, with the first of them held in California. Playing on home soil, the USA emerged triumphant with three wins in three games to guarantee their fifth straight ticket to the main event and their tenth in total.

Habitual outsiders Honduras will also be making the trip, as will Panama, who secured their second consecutive qualification by seeing off Trinidad and Tobago. But the real surprises were to take place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. For a start, the host nation went through for the fourth time in their history, and Canada proved that their excellent showing in 2003 was no fluke with a faultless display. The major shock, however, was Mexico's failure to earn their eleventh participation.
 

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Africa: Heavyweights show Benin the way

January's African Youth Championship in Benin began in the most tragic of circumstances, when the host team's goalkeeper was murdered on the night of the very first game. Playing in his memory, his young team-mates found the strength to carry on and took themselves all the way to the last four, seeing off the Ivory Coast 4-1 and holding Mali to a 3-3 draw before succumbing to Egypt in a closely-fought encounter.

It was a superb performance that deservedly earned the Young Squirrels their first ever place in the global event, where they will be joined by three sides with a good deal more experience at this level. Nigeria won the tournament after dominating from start to finish, and can start looking forward to their first FIFA World Youth Championship in six years, while Egypt will be putting in their third appearance and Morocco will be reacquainting themselves with the competition after qualifying for the first time since 1997.
 

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The groups:

Group A (Kerkrade):
Holland
Japan
Benin
Australia

Group B (Utrecht):
Turkey
China
Ukraine
Panama

Group C (Doetinchem):
Spain
Morocco
Honduras
Chile :cap:

Group D (Enschede):
Argentina
United States
Germany
Egypt

Group E (Tilburg):
Colombia
Italy
Syria
Canada

Group F (Emmen):
Brazil
Nigeria
Korea Republic
Switzerland
 

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A tough draw for the South Americans

(FIFA.com) 06 Mar 2005

The skies above Utrecht in eastern Holland may have been overcast this Sunday 6 March, but a marked contrast was provided by the colourful draw ceremony that took place at the Jaarbeurs Centre around 6pm for the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005. The draw has pitched up some bewitching bill-toppers, not least the intriguing clash between Argentina and Germany and the red-hot Brazil - Nigeria encounter. Read on for more details of the draw.
 

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guess what? argentina is in the opinion of the papers in the group of death..what the **** is alwys this way? Grondona MOVE EL ORTO!!!!!
 

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colocolo said:
Group F (Emmen):
Brazil
Nigeria
Korea Republic
Switzerland
Definitely not a good news for S.Koreans :sigh: We still cannot forget horrible result that happened in 97....thrashed by Brazilians 10-3 :scared:
 

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Brazil and Argentina on paper looks like they really have drawn tough competition...as far as Im concerned Colombia and Chile look like they should have no problem advancing .... Of course with my native country you just never know !! :eek:
 

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Argentina all the way. No question.
 

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Latinlover said:
Argentina all the way. No question.
Mmmmm no question from YOU, but there are 31 other Nations and in Colombia they looked like crappolla !!!!! :veiled:
 

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Nicolas Canales, Chile's ticket to ride :cap:

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courtesy of www.anfp.cl


(FIFA.com) 15 Apr 2005

"Of the new crop of players coming through, I particularly like the U-20 striker Nicolas Canales. I think he'll have a major say in the future of Chilean football." High praise indeed, especially coming from such an authority as Marcelo Salas, the undisputed hero and captain of La Roja. The rest of the world can judge for itself when the teenager showcases his considerable talent later this year at the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands.
Though a long-time admirer of El Matador, Canales came to the game more by accident than design. Chileans were particularly grateful for this twist of fate at the recent South American U-20 qualifiers in Colombia, where five goals and a series of inspired performances by the strapping six-footer helped secure their historic qualification for Netherlands 2005.

With the 10 June start date approaching fast, FIFA.com talked exclusively to the Universidad de Chile front man about the challenges facing him and his fellow countrymen.

Many people were surprised to see Chile qualify. Were the players too?
Yes, I suppose we were a bit. It's rare for Chile to qualify for a world championship.
We came into the qualifiers with a useful squad of players hoping to do well, but I think even we were a little taken aback at how well we played.

How are preparations going for the Netherlands?
I'd say we're about eighty percent there. The team that secured qualification hasn't been together much since Colombia, but that's understandable. It's partly because the coach has been trying out new players, and partly because some of the squad have been unable to attend training because of commitments with First Division sides.

On the last two occasions Chile qualified for a world championship at youth level, they were eliminated in the first round. What is your objective this time?
We want to go as far as possible. I think we are capable of getting out of our group. With the exception of Spain, who are always tough opponents, the other sides in the group, Honduras and Morocco, have yet to make their mark at this level. But we don't want to get overconfident as that might work against us. We'll just take it one game at a time, try to get past the first round and then see what happens.

Who would be your favourites for the title?
Brazil are always formidable opponents. As well as playing spectacular football, they are strong and forceful. Argentina are another team to watch for. We played both of them in the qualifiers and gave as good as we got. If we reproduce that kind of form, then we'll have our chances like everyone else.

The consensus in the Chilean media is that you are the real leader in the team. Are they right?
I don't know. That's not really for me to say. I admit that I like to have a positive influence on the side, and that I enjoy being involved in everything. I regularly chat with my team-mates and offer encouragement whenever I can.


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courtesy of www.anfp.cl
In a recent interview, Marcelo Salas singled you out as one of the most promising young players in Chilean football. How did that make you feel?
Did he really say that? Coming from a striker like him, who I've looked up to more than anyone else, that means a lot. That just makes me want to succeed in this profession even more. Hopefully, I'll be able to reproduce for my country a little of what Marcelo has done.

Are your games similar?
Not exactly. Because of my physique, I'd model myself more on someone like Andriy Shevchenko. I'm right-footed, tall and strong. I'm also good in the air and pack a powerful shot. Someday, I'd love to be as effective as Andriy or Marcelo. It's something I'm working towards.

Does the fact that the senior team are struggling put extra pressure on yourselves?
No, not really. As I said before, a world championship appearance is a rare treat for Chileans, so I imagine there won't be too much expectation. The press and the public aren't on our backs. So no, I'd say it's more of an additional motivation than an added pressure.

Are you dreaming of being the top scorer in the Netherlands ?
Well, when I went to Colombia for the South American qualifiers I had no fixed goals in that regard, yet I finished as one of the top scorers. Naturally, I'd love to do something similar and I'm certainly motivated, but I have to admit it would be a little strange.

How so?
I've always liked football, but I never harboured ambitions of becoming a professional player. Unlike other children, I wasn't interested in joining football schools either. The thing is that I was hyperactive, and the doctor told my mother I needed to take up a sport to burn off this excess energy. If it hadn't been for that, I might never have played seriously. So you can imagine what it would be like to go from reluctant beginner to top scorer at a world championship...

A good showing in Holland could pave the way for a move to Europe
Yes, it could. Even in Colombia, there were scouts and reps enquiring about certain players, so I imagine in the Netherlands there will be even more interest. But we have to stay focused on the task in hand. If we do that well, the rest will come in due course.

You turn 20 on 27. Did you know that if you are still in the Netherlands on that date, Chile will have reached the semi-finals?
No, I hadn't realised that. What a birthday present that would be! Hopefully I can get the goals that will prolong our stay in the tournament and celebrate it over there. That would mean that we'd done Chilean football proud.
 

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June 10th is when the action gets goinn !!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Anyone know where i can get the score (or where i can follow the game) of the Morocco-Colombia game being held in Panama? Its in preparation of the 2005 World Youth Cup. Thanks!
 

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FIFA U-20 World Youth Championship

June 2, 2005

Univision Communications holds US Spanish-language TV rights to the FIFA Under-20 World Youth Championship, the FIFA Confederations Cup, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Matches will air on TeleFutura and Galavision.

In Canada, Rogers Sportsnet will air selected matches involving Team Canada as well as the final.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sat Jun 11 02:25PM Eastern
Length: 2 hr 5 min LIVE
Galavision (US)
FIFA World Youth Championship/Campeonato Mundial Sub-20
Honduras vs. Chile
 

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Ready for this one 2day !!!!! :cap:
 
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