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.
By Paul Saffer & Paolo Menicucci in Tirrenia
A host of players emerged as real prospects for the future during the UEFA European Under-17 Championship - and uefa.com picks out ten of the many performers in Italy who could be starring on the senior stage before long.
Yann Sommer, Switzerland
A tall goalkeeper who did not concede a goal for the first two and a half matches of his campaign, saving a penalty from Israel's Maor Bar Buzaglo into the bargain. The FC Basel 1893 custodian may then have been beaten several times late in the loss to Croatia, but he was otherwise a calm presence.
Lorenzo De Silvestri, Italy
Along with fellow full-back Davide Brivio, the left-sided Italy captain was both a stout defender and a dangerous winger. S.S. Lazio have a mature talent who coped admirably with the pressure of leading the hosts and also struck in the third-place play-off.
Dejan Lovren, Croatia
Still 15 until 5 July, Lovren was the youngest player at the finals but possibly the best centre-back of all. NK Dinamo Zagreb supplied the spine of the Croatia team, and although their games tended to be high-scoring, Lovren more than held his own.
Theo Walcott, England
Possibly the quickest thing on two legs over the fortnight, the Southampton FC winger, only 16 in March, bolstered his burgeoning reputation despite only playing in England's two defeats. Along with Hogan Ephraim, Myles Weston, Joe Garner and James Vaughan, Walcott was part of a thrilling English attacking spearhead.
Nuri Sahin, Turkey
Maybe the man of the tournament. Nuri is a massively talented playmaker who possesses skill, control, poise, pace and a strong shot - scoring the late winner against England that probably salvaged their campaign. BV Borussia Dortmund have developed him well.
Melvin Zaalman, Netherlands
Although he missed much of the Netherlands campaign through an ankle injury suffered in their opening game, the Sparta Rotterdam winger showed a determination befitting this stage to return and come off the bench to head the only goal of the semi-final against Italy - not bad for one of the smallest players in the competition.
Mikhail Sivakou, Belarus
While forward Siarhei Kisly was known to be a massive talent prior to the finals, Sivakou and his fellow wide man Dzmitry Rekish caused England's defenders all manner of problems in their opening match, despite the 4-0 defeat. FC BATE Borisov player Sivakou also scored with a ferocious shot against Turkey to further highlight his name.
Maor Bar Buzaglo, Israel
Much touted as Israel's danger man, Maccabi Haifa FC forward Bar Buzaglo was as skilful as any of the players in Italy, and even as his team lost all three games he caused opposing defences a constant threat, often dropping deep then bursting through with the ball. His midfield team-mate Tommar Snappir was also an assured presence.
Diego Biseswar, Netherlands
The Dutch had a number of players able to worry defenders - Vurnon Anita, Jeffrey Sarpong, John Goossens and Marvin Emnes to name a few. Feyenoord striker Biseswar was probably the most direct, and had the poise to claim the late winner against Israel that took them past the group stage.
Tevfik Köse, Turkey
Like their final opponents, Turkey could boast a host of thrilling attackers, including Deniz Yilmaz, Özgürcan Özcan, Caner Erkin and, of course, Nuri. The Bayer 04 Leverkusen forward, however, stood out with his two goals against England, hat-trick versus Belarus and clincher in the final, enough to secure him the honour of tournament top scorer.
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