The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the four third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 30 qualifiers plus the top two seeds – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.
Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
Steven Bergwijn (forward, Netherlands)
Bergwijn told UEFA.com that the Netherlands' philosophy involved "making the pitch as big as possible". This was certainly to the benefit of the PSV Eindhoven forward, who time and again found space on the right and terrorised opposing full-backs. Always willing to chance his arm, he got the goals his performances deserved.
Ertuğrul Ersoy (defender, Turkey)
Powerful in the air, confident on the ball and quick across the ground, Ertuğrul exhibited all the ingredients required of a modern-day central defender. The Bursaspor starlet even weighed in with two assists – the first a headed knock-down for club-mate Enes Ünal versus the Netherlands, the second a stunning long-range strike against the bar that enabled Fatih Aktay to net against Malta.
Aidan Friggieri (forward, Malta)
The hosts' most consistent threat, Friggieri did not look out of place against some of the tournament's standout players. The Sliema Wanderers FC winger only turned 16 in April, but more than held his own and was always a lively presence on Malta's right flank. He claimed the goal his performances deserved against the Netherlands.
Benjamin Henrichs (midfielder, Germany)
The Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder already emits an air of authority on the ball. Equally comfortable seeking possession as he is spreading play, Henrichs also showed he had an eye for goal. Not only his tall frame made him stand head and shoulders above his opponents; an uncanny maturity made him a particularly imposing presence.
Rúben Neves (midfielder, Portugal)
Portugal's captain and the man who made things tick in midfield for Emilio Peixe's eye-catching side. Constantly prompting attacks and keeping the ball circulating for A Selecção das Quinas, the FC Porto player was not afraid to go for goal himself, as was evident with his thumping long-range effort that smacked the bar against England in the semi-finals.
Dimitri Oberlin (forward, Switzerland)
Physical strength is far from Oberlin's sole asset. The FC Zürich attacker excels with the ball at his feet, his robustness and fine close control making him particularly tricky to dispossess. Much of Switzerland's forward play was channelled through a player who frequently dropped deep to pick up the ball before carrying it upfield with intent. He also boasts a fierce shot.
Patrick Roberts (forward, England)
The first time Roberts ran with the ball against Malta on matchday one there was a collective intake of breath in the crowd. This boy is not just seriously fast, he knows how best to utilise his pace. The Fulham FC winger has shown himself to be equally adept at hitting the byline and crossing as he has at cutting in from the right and shooting. His second effort against the hosts goes down as one of the goals of the championship.
Jari Schuurman (midfielder, Netherlands)
An engaging figure off the field, as UEFA.com found out early at this event, Schuurman was a real menace on the pitch. Despite his striking blond hair, the Jong Oranje No8 had an uncanny ability to ghost unnoticed into space, as attested by his goal in the final. The joint-leading top scorer, Schuurman was also nothing less than assured on the ball.
Dominic Solanke (forward, England)
Started the tournament in an advanced midfield role, yet finished it as a lone striker following Adam Armstrong's injury in the semi-finals. The Chelsea FC youngster would often be quiet for long spells but never failed to come alive when the ball dropped to – or near – him inside the penalty area. Finished level with Schuurman on four strikes having revealed a remarkable nose for goal that could stand him in good stead for years to come.
Scott Wright (forward, Scotland)
Scotland's shift to a more continental approach could be witnessed most vividly in Wright, an effervescent attacking outlet. Small and slender in stature, Wright appeared to have the ball attached to his foot when embarking on his windy runs. The Aberdeen FC youngster did not lack confidence and also displayed impressive versatility when manager Scot Gemmill opted to shift him out wide.
This list has been determined by UEFA.com reporters Nick Aitken, Ben Gladwell and Tom Kell, who all worked in Malta. The UEFA Technical Team will produce an official squad of the tournament as part of their technical report on the finals.
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