KOLKATA: England lifted a World Cup trophy for the second time in the same year after beating Spain 5-2 in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017. However, it wasn’t the only silverware won by an Englishman on the night.
Golden Ball: Phil Foden (England) – 7 games (3 goals, 1 assist)
Dominic Solanke’s improved game by game in India. The play-maker scored his forst goal of the competition in England’s 3-2 win over Mexico in Group F before notching a brace against final en route to eventually helping his nation lift the trophy in Kolkata. Foden’s lung-bursting runs and incisive eye for goal were just two of many attributes that contributed greatly to England’s success.
Silver Ball: Sergio Gomez (Spain) – 7 games (4 goals, 2 assists)
The left-footed maestro was on course to be the match-winner after netting a first-half brace in the final, only for La Rojita to eventually surrender their 2-0 lead. Spain’s No10 oozed creativity throughout the competition, however, making a habit of playing the perfect pass through the lines of opposing defences. Able to read and judge situations innately, his understanding of the game was remarkable for a player his age and he also displayed a knack for shooting from range.
Bronze Ball: Rhian Brewster (England) – 6 games (8 goals, 1 assist)
Agile. Dynamic. Ruthless – perhaps the three best words to describe the Englishman, who saved his best displays for the knockout rounds. Brewster scored just once in his first four appearances but almost singlehandedly fired England all the way to the final with hat-tricks against USA and Brazil in respective 4-1 and 3-1 victories. The 17-year-old was a menace all over the pitch but especially came alive in the penalty area. He waited patiently for his chances and, using his speed to his advantage, was able to get the better of defenders again and again. The Liverpool youngster knew exactly where to be in the box and displayed remarkable composure in front of goal.
Golden Boot: Rhian Brewster (England) – 7 games (8 goals)
Brewster opened his account with a free-kick goal against Mexico after a rather quiet opening encounter against Chile. Though the Chadwell Heath-born was unable to find the target in Young Lions’ in next two games with Iraq and Japan but returned to the score-sheet with successive hat-tricks in quarterfinal and semifinal against the USA and Brazil. “At the beginning, I scored one in four games, so to win the Golden Boot and score a couple of hat-tricks, it is an amazing feeling. “I enjoyed every moment of this tournament. It’s been a great month.” Brewster said.
Silver Boot: Lassana N’Diaye (Mali) – 7 games (6 goals)
Mali ended the tournament as the side with the most shots on goal – 184 – a statistic that owes much to N’Diaye’s presence in the Eaglets’ attack. “Since I was a kid, I always scored a lot of goals on the street and at our academy,” the 17-year-old said. “It’s always fun to score goals. It’s why I play football – to do exactly that.” Extremely difficult to stop one on one and never afraid to shoot, N’Diaye was the CAF Africa Cup of Nations winners’ most potent attacking weapon.
Bronze Boot: Abel Ruiz (Spain) – 7 games (6 goals)
Spain’s captain and all-action centre forward was also a team player above all. His ability to hold the ball up with his back to goal made him a vital outlet for his team-mates, but just as eye-catching was his positional awareness in the final third. His passes set up chances for other players and he scored goals himself, but he also led the entire group on and off the pitch. He took responsibility, and converted, from the penalty spot twice at India 2017, opening the scoring with one of those spot-kicks to put Spain into the lead against Mali in the semi-final.
Golden Glove: Gabriel Brazao (Brazil)
For the fifth time, the best goalkeeper of the U-17 World Cup was recognised with the Golden Glove award. After Benjamin Siegrist (Switzerland, 2009), Jonathan Cubero (Uruguay, 2011), Dele Alampasu (Nigeria, 2013) and Samuel Diarra (Mali, 2015), India 2017’s hero between the sticks was Gabriel Brazao. The Brazil custodian made 29 saves and kept out an average of 85.3 per cent of shots on his goal in the tournament, higher than any other goalkeeper. On a number of occasions he pulled off stupendous saves to thwart opposing strikers, showcasing his superb reflexes and impressive command of his penalty area. He also conceded just five goals in seven matches.
FIFA Fair Play Award: Brazil
After the final ball was kicked, Brazil were able to enjoy the consolation of ending their campaign with a win. They overcame Mali 2-0 to win the Play-Off for Third Place, but thanks to their sportsmanship, they also won the hearts of the watching supporters too. The Seleção received just four yellow cards and committed only 62 fouls in their seven matches, making Carlos Amadeu’s side deserving winners of the FIFA Fair Play Award. Alongside the trophy, medals and a certificate, Brazil’s football federation also receives a cheque of $10,000 USD, which will be used exclusively for equipment for youth football.