With a week to go before the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off in the United Arab Emirates, the official squad lists for the final tournament have all been announced. A total of 504 players can now set their sights on following in the footsteps of the many illustrious names to have left a glittering impression at past editions.
The action gets under way on 17 October, when the opening match between Brazil and Slovakia will mark the start of three weeks of drama, spectacle and thrilling football which climaxes with the final on 8 November.
The gifted prodigies selected to represent their nations at UAE 2013 will be based in the tournament's six host cities: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Ain, Fujairah and Sharjah. And, once there, they will be determined to catch the eye like some of the great players who first announced their potential at a FIFA U-17 World Cup, including Juan Sebastian Veron, Alessandro Del Piero, Iker Casillas, Francesco Totti, Harry Kewell, Hidetoshi Nakata, Nwankwo Kanu, Ronaldinho, Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos and Neymar, to name but a few.
Click on the official list of players on the right of your screen to consult the squad lists of each of the 24 teams taking part.
Big hopes for young prospects
Having won the last edition on home soil two years ago, Mexico will begin their bid eager to reach the showpiece for the third time in their history. For that to happen, the holders will be hoping for big things from star performer Marco Granados, scorer of four goals in qualifying, and solid defender Jose Almanza, who was voted player of the tournament at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April.
As for three-time winners Nigeria, they will be attempting to grace their seventh final and become the first side to win the world title for a fourth time, a dream that may depend largely on the form of Success Isaac, who struck eight times during the qualifiers. Brazil, meanwhile, will look to Kenedy to help them reach the global summit after a ten-year wait.
This FIFA U-17 World Cup will likewise offer a stage to players such as Morocco and Juventus forward Younes Bnou Marzouk, Croatia's Lukas Culjak – who plies his trade with Borussia Dortmund – and Adrian Grbic of Austria and Stuttgart. In addition, Sweden's Isak Ssewankambo will attempt to use the experience he has accumulated at Chelsea to aid his team-mates, as no doubt will Slovakia's Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Filip Lesniak.
All these exciting young talents, and many more besides, will be pushing themselves to the limit to clinch the world title and lay down the first markers of potentially brilliant careers to come.
Thanks to FIFA.com, you will be able to follow all the action from the FIFA U-17 World Cup, with match reports, exclusive interviews and live updates brought to you every day throughout all three weeks of the competition.