MUMBAI: Former Nigeria International Nwankwo Kanu and Argentina’s Esteban Cambiasso will participate in the draw for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, to be held at Mumbai this Friday.
Cambiasso and Kanu are no strangers to the U-17 World Cup as they both won it as players – Kanu in Japan in 1993 and Cambiasso in Egypt in 1997.
Kanu, one of the biggest names in Nigerian football, won the U-17 World Cup in 1993 before winning the Olympic gold for his country three years later at Atlanta in 1996.
He played for several top clubs in Europe, including Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion. Kanu has a UEFA Champions League, three English Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and a UEFA Cup winners medals to adorn his trophy cabinet.
Kanu was also chosen as African Player of the Year twice, and represented Nigeria at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 editions of the FIFA World Cup.
“The FIFA U-17 World Cup 1993 really spurred my career – within years of winning the title, I won the Olympic gold and from there as I would like to believe, there wasn’t any looking back. This tournament provides youngsters the necessary stage for development and I believe this year’s edition will provide us all with exceptional talent – much like the previous tournaments,” Kanu said.
On the other hand, Cambiasso, who is one of the most creative and elegant Argentinian midfielders, was part of the Argentinian golden generation that won the U-17 and U-20 World Cup in 1997 alongside the likes of Juan Román Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Walter Samuel and Diego Placente.
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Cambiasso started his career at Argentina-based CA Independiente and later played for the likes of River Plate, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Leicester City FC.
More recently, the 36-year-old played for the Seuperleague Greece side Olympiacos FC and helped the club to win the title in the recently concluded season.
Apart from Kanu and Cambiasso, the draw will also be attended India’s badminton superstar PV Sindhu and India national football team captain Sunil Chhetri beside officials from the participating teams, FIFA and the host cities.