2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup: Nwankwo Kanu, Esteban Cambiasso to grace draws

New Delhi, India (PANA) - Footballing greats and former World Cup stars, Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria and Esteban Cambiasso of Argentina, are going to be special guests at the 2017 Under-17 FIFA World Cup draw set to held in Mumbai, India, on 7July.

India are set to host the U-17 FIFA World Cup in October –  the first time the country will be involved in a FIFA event. The opening game is set for 6 October 2017.

FIFA and local Indian organizers said Esteban Cambiasso, who had a storied career –  notably with Real Madrid and Inter Milan, was part of the Argentine team (the youngest player on the squad) that lifted the FIFA World Youth Championship in 1997, also scoring in the final against Uruguay.

He would later captain the side in the 1999 edition of the tournament. Hailed as one of the world’s best central midfielders during his heydeys would then go on to win 52 caps for the senior Argentina team.

This included appearances in the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2006 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2007 and the 2011 editions of the Copa America.

The 37-year-old who started his career in Spain in Real Madrid, would reach the zenith of his career, becoming the fulcrum of the Inter team under Jose Mourinho who won the treble in 2009/10.

Nwankwo Kanu won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games with Nigeria

He was part of the Nigerian team that would go on to win the 1993 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Japan where they beat Ghana 2-1 in an all-African final. The lanky forward would then go on to make his senior debut a year later and feature in the 1998, 2002 and 2010 editions of the FIFA World Cup.

His highest point on the world stage, however, would be winning the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games where he scored in a thrilling 4-3 win over Brazil in the semi-finals.

He would finish on 87 caps for the Super Eagles while playing for the likes of Ajax Amsterdam, Arsenal and Inter Milan at the club level. Whilst he won the Champions League with Ajax, the skilful forward enjoyed his most memorable spell playing in the Red and White of Arsenal -  winning three Premier League title and three FA Cups.

The Indian team qualified automatically for the tournament as hosts and will be placed in Pool A.

The other 23 teams to have qualified are Japan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, New Caledonia, New Zealand, France, England, Germany, Spain and Turkey.

While Nigeria failed to qualify for the tournament, Kanu's appearance in the draw would surely give the aspiring footballers such much-needed positive stimulus as to how the tournament can pave the way for future success.
-0- PANA VAO 29June2017

29 june 2017 13:01:00

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