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.
The 2007 UEFA European Under-17 Championship was the usual showcase for the continent's rising talents. uefa.com picks just ten of the many jewels that shone in Belgium.
David De Gea, Spain
The Club Atlético de Madrid goalkeeper was a rock for Spain, especially in the semi-final against Belgium when he kept his team in the tie before stopping the decisive penalty in the epic shoot-out victory. Agile and imposing.
Dimitri Daeseleire, Belgium
The spot-kick saved by De Egea was from the Belgian captain but the KRC Genk right-back was superb throughout the event for the hosts, who could well have emerged as champions for their ability to soak up pressure from higher-rated opponents and then start to dominate themselves. Daeseleire was a tireless leader.
Hólmar Örn Eyjólfsson, Iceland
Although the surprise qualifiers lost all their games, results did not reflect their performances, which considering the amount of injuries suffered before and during the tournament were pretty creditable. The English-based Björn Jónsson and talented striker Kolbeinn Sigthórsson did well but HK Kópavogur's Eyjólfsson was impressive in midfield against tough opposition.
Artur Karnoza, Ukraine
Ukraine were never quite able to reproduce their performances from qualifying but diminutive FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk playmaker Karnoza kept battling even when the odds were against them, producing some fine set-pieces and deservedly scoring in the 2-2 draw with France.
Nacer Barazite, Netherlands
The Arsenal FC winger was at his brilliant best in the opening 2-2 draw against the hosts, scoring a spectacular goal, and was maybe the tournament's outstanding wide player. Midfielder Daley Blind only played against Iceland in between suspension and injury but scored twice and with him in the team the Dutch were transformed.
Iago Falqué, Spain
While Bojan Krkić stole the headlines with his final winner that followed his equaliser in the last four, perhaps the star of the decider in Tournai was his FC Barcelona colleague. Falqué was brilliant down the left wing and more than anyone else helped pin England back in the first half before Bojan finished the job after the break.
Toni Kroos, Germany
For the second finals running, FC Bayern München talent Kroos ran the German team from midfield and struck three goals as they secured a FIFA U-17 World Cup place, even though their form suggested they could achieve even more. Kroos's goals against Ukraine and France were both belters and his own reputation was enhanced further.
Victor Moses, England
The Nigerian-born Crystal Palace FC player possess some outrageous skills, not to mention some impressive acrobatics after his three goals. Moses's strikes against the Netherlands and semi-final opponents France were priceless and his jinking runs were thrilling to watch. One of a number of outstanding England players in attack, including Daniel Rose and Rhys Murphy.
Eden Hazard, Belgium
Hazard left local team AFC Tubize aged 14 for LOSC Lille Métropole and on this evidence the French team have unearthed a gem. Hazard was never less than brilliant in his creative role for the hosts and outshone Spain's better-known talents in a semi-final Belgium were unlucky not to win through the No10's deflected second-half shot. Perhaps the player of the tournament.
Damien Le Tallec, France
Attacking midfielders rather than out-and-out strikers got most of the goals in Belgium but the brother of former French youth star Anthony Le Tallec was a useful spearhead, most notably with his goals in the 2-1 defeat of Germany that proved decisive in taking them into the semi-finals. The Stade Rennais FC striker combined excellently with playmaker Thibault Bourgeois.
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