Australia will kick off its pursuit of U17 World Cup glory this Sunday when Head Coach Trevor Morgan’s side walk onto Goiânia's Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico to take on Ecuador.
7 – The defending champions are not present in Brazil
England won their first-ever U17 World Cup in 2017, defeating Spain 5-2 in the final with a squad featuring the likes of Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster and Jadon Sancho.
However, England finished third in their group at the 2019 U17 European Championships in Poland behind France and The Netherlands, meaning that they will not be present to defend their crown in 2019.
It’s the second tournament in a row that the holder has failed to qualify; Nigeria failing to make it through to the 2017 tournament after winning in 2015.
8 – Brazil and Nigeria are the only nations to defend the U17 World Cup
England’s absence from Brazil 2019 means that Brazil and Nigeria will remain the only two sides in U17 World Cup history to defend their crowns – Brazil doing so in 1997 and 1999 and Nigeria in 2013 and 2015.
Featuring the irrepressible Ronaldinho, Brazil defeated Ghana to win their first U17 World Cup title in 1997 before breaking the hearts of Australia in an 8-7 penalty shootout win in the final of the 1999 tournament in New Zealand.
Fielding Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho, Nigeria downed Mexico 3-0 in the final of the 2013 tournament and, with Lille’s Victor Osimhen and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze among their ranks, triumphed 2-0 over Mali at Chile 2015.
9 – Brazil are the number one ranked side in U17 World Cup History – although Nigeria have won the most titles
With 53 wins from their 82 games compared to 11 draws and 18 losses, FIFA ranks Brazil as the most successful side in U17 World Cup history, their success built on the back of their incredible consistency in sending sides to the tournament.
Seleção have maintained some sort of presence at every tournament bar Japan 1993 – a feat only matched by the United States.
The Golden Eaglets, in contrast, have only been to 11 of the 17 tournaments that have been staged since the tournament began in 1985. Nonetheless, when they are there, Nigeria tend to make it count: appearing in eight finals and winning five of them (1985, 1993, 2007, 2013, and 2015).
10 – Australia are the ninth ranked side in U17 World Cup history
You read that right.
According to FIFA’s rankings heading into Brazil 2019, the Joeys are the ninth most successful side in U17 World Cup history, coming in just behind the United States and ahead of European powers France.
Present at 12 iterations of the tournament, Australia qualified for the final of New Zealand 1999 and have reached at least the knockout stages on nine different occasions – maintain a record of 17 wins, eight draws and 22 losses from 47 games.