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Ten to watch from U17 EURO in Croatia

Published: Monday 22 May 2017, 9.47CET
Three No9s, a marauding full-back from winners Spain and England's five-goal winger are among ten who caught's eye at the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.
by Wayne Harrison
from Zagreb
Ten to watch from U17 EURO in Croatia
Left to right: Jadon Sancho, Jann-Fiete Arp, Mateu Morey and Amine Gouiri ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

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.

Qualifying round
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.

Elite round
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.

Final tournament
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.


Published: Monday 22 May 2017, 9.47CET

Ten to watch from U17 EURO in Croatia

Three No9s, a marauding full-back from winners Spain and England's five-goal winger are among ten who caught's eye at the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

Mateu Morey (right-back, Spain)
The Barcelona talent is as attacking as right-backs come. Morey give everyone a glimpse of his potential when he struck Spain's match-clinching goal in their Group A opener. He really came to the fore in the knockout stage, however, scoring a wonderful solo effort versus France and popping up in a centre-forward's position to level against England in the final.

Jonathan Panzo (centre-back, England)
The defender played in all 12 of England's games in the 2016/17 season. Tall, quick and comfortable in possession, Panzo formed a solid centre-back partnership with Chelsea club-mate Marc Guehi. The duo helped the Young Lions go 352 minutes without conceding between Guehi's unfortunate own goal in their first group fixture and Kerem Kesgin's low drive for Turkey in the semi-finals.

Spain 3-1 France – watch Mateu Morey's solo goal

Ozan Kabak (centre-back, Turkey)
Ozan started and finished every match of Turkey's run to the last four. The Galatasaray stopper headed the Crescent Stars' crucial third in their group encounter with Croatia, just after the hosts had reduced their arrears to 2-1. He first demonstrated his eye for goal during the elite round in a 4-1 victory over Finland.

Phil Foden (midfielder, England)
The left-footer enhanced his burgeoning reputation. A substitute for Manchester City on UEFA Champions League matchday six in December, Foden was an authoritative presence in England's central three. His eye-of-a-needle pass for Sancho against Turkey was breath-taking; his long-range strike in the final so nearly secured a record third U17 EURO title for his country.

Elias Abouchabaka (attacking midfielder, Germany)
Leipzig's Abouchabaka proved a fine foil for lone forward Jann-Fiete Arp. The No10 registered three goals in Croatia, the most vital an equaliser against the Netherlands in the quarter-finals, taking his tally to eight in as many appearances for the campaign.


Elias Abouchabaka after levelling against the Dutch

Yacine Adli (attacking midfielder, France)
A dead ringer for Marouane Fellaini, Adli offered up much of the ammunition for tournament top scorer Amine Gouiri. The Paris Saint-Germain player supplied five assists in his first three appearances, one of them for Gouiri's last-gasp strike against Scotland. He also got in on the scoring act himself, curling in a fine free-kick versus the Faroe Islands.

Jadon Sancho (winger, England)
The Manchester City tyro lit up the finals with his goalscoring and trickery. A crowd favourite, Sancho contributed at least one goal and/or assist in every match for the runners-up, the highlight a stylish display against Ukraine in which he set up the first two and then scored the third in a 4-0 success. Though Steve Cooper could never be pressed on his prized asset, there was no denying that Sancho was the jewel in the England crown.


France's Amine Gouiri (left) and Yacine Adli celebrate

Abel Ruiz (forward, Spain)
The No9 left Croatia with a winners' medal – 12 months after being on the losing side against Portugal in the final – and as the joint-top scorer in U17 EURO history, qualifying included. Barcelona's Ruiz added to his four goals in Baku in 2016 with another four this time, placing him in a tie for first with Gouiri and Odsonne Edouard on the finals' all-time list. But for a missed penalty against Germany, he would have been out on his own.

Amine Gouiri (forward, France)
Lethal. If there is one word to describe the Lyon striker then that is it. Gouiri scored with both feet, his head and had a turn of pace to boot, as was evident when he sped clear to put France ahead in their quarter-final loss to Spain. His seven goals in three outings before that was a joint record for any UEFA-final tournament group.

Jann-Fiete Arp (forward, Germany)
Arp is the only player to have netted two hat-tricks in one U17 EURO final tournament. His first, in a 5-0 defeat of Bosnia and Herzegovina, took only 13 minutes; the Hamburg player's second set up a joint finals record 7-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland. His last-gasp winner against the Netherlands – a first-time finish following a partially cleared free-kick, having hitherto been quiet – was the epitome of a true goalscorer.

Last updated: 22/05/17 9.27CET