The opening of the 2023 Indonesia Under-17 (U-17) World Cup is one month away. It was originally supposed to be held in 2021, but was postponed for two years due to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). The venue was originally Peru, but was changed due to a series of natural disasters.

The U-17 World Cup, a national competition organized by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), began in 1985 and has been held every odd numbered year. In the beginning, there were 16 countries participating in the finals, but the number was expanded to 24 from 2007. Nigeria, the inaugural champion, remains the country with the most wins (5 times).

South Korea has advanced to the finals seven times so far (1987, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2019, 2023). The highest score was quarterfinals (1987, 2009, 2019). There were also players representing each competition. Even now, there are quite a few players whose names you can recognize just by hearing them.

First of all, if we look at the tournament held in Canada in 1987, Tae-Yong Shin, the ‘Fox of the Ground’, Jeong-Won Seo, the ‘Flyer’, Jeong-Yoon Noh, the ‘Noteus’, and Byeong-Soo Kim, the ‘Unlucky Genius’, played. Shin Tae-yong made his name known through his outstanding performance, scoring two goals in three group stage games.

At that time, South Korea drew 1-1 with Ivory Coast in the group stage and lost 0-1 to Ecuador, but advanced to the quarterfinals by beating the United States 4-2. However, the tournament ended with a 0-2 loss to Italy. Since then, they have failed to pass the Asian preliminary round.

Then, at the 2003 Finnish competition, they reached the finals for the first time in 16 years. Lee Yong-rae, who is still active in Daegu FC, and Shin Young-rok, who was called ‘Youngrokba’ and was expected to be the next generation striker, participated. There were also Yang Dong-hyun, Jeong In-hwan, and Han Dong-won who played in the K-League for a long time.

At that time, Korea lost 1-6 to the United States in the first game of the group stage, and in the subsequent match against Spain, they lost 2-3, allowing David Silva to score a hat trick. Fortunately, they avoided elimination by defeating Sierra Leone 3-2 in the final match.

Four years later, in 2007, Kim Seung-gyu, Oh Jae-seok, Yoon Bit-garam, Yoon Seok-young, and Hankook Young played in the tournament that the team participated in as the host country. They later went on to play on the age group soccer team and then on to the adult soccer team. Currently, they are continuing their active duty and playing senior roles in their respective teams.

At that time, South Korea lost 0-1 to Peru and then 0-2 to Costa Rica in the group stage. In the third game, they had their last hope by winning 2-1 over Togo with Yoon Bit-garam’s winning goal, but they were behind on goal difference in the competition for third place in the group and ultimately failed to advance to the round of 16.

In the 2009 Nigeria tournament, where he participated in two consecutive tournaments for the first time, Son Heung-min, who is now an icon representing Korean soccer and has become a player representing the world, was first known to soccer fans. At that time, not only Son Heung-min, but also Kim Jin-soo, Yoon Il-rok, and Lee Jong-ho, all born in 1992, played key roles.

At that time, South Korea got off to a good start by beating Uruguay 3-1 in the group stage. Although they lost 1-2 to Italy, they beat Algeria 2-0 in the final match and advanced to the round of 16. In the round of 16, they went to a penalty shootout against Mexico and won. However, they faced Nigeria in the quarterfinals and lost 1-3. At that time, Son Heung-min scored 3 goals in 5 games.

While failing to advance to the finals in the 2011 Mexico and 2013 UAE tournaments, Jin-ya Kim, Se-hoon Oh, Jong-gyu Yoon, Sang-min Lee, Seung-woo Lee, and Seung-mo Lee played in the 2015 Chile tournament. In particular, a lot of attention was paid to the selection of Lee Seung-woo, who was playing for Barcelona Juvenil A at the time.스포츠토토

At that time, Korea pulled off an upset by beating Brazil 1-0 in the first match of the group stage, and defeated Guinea 1-0 in the second match with Oh Se-hoon’s dramatic winning goal. And a scoreless draw with England caused a stir. However, they faced Belgium in the round of 16 and lost 0-2.

The 2019 Brazil tournament was the stage for the Korea-Japan World Cup generation, mainly those born in 2002. Kim Yong-hak, Um Ji-seong, Lee Tae-seok, Lee Han-beom, Jeong Sang-bin, and Hong Yun-sang were selected. These are promising players who are evaluated as the future leaders of Korean soccer.

At that time, South Korea defeated Haiti 2-1 in the first game of the group stage, but lost 1-3 to France. However, they advanced to the round of 16 with a 2-1 win over Chile in the final match. They defeated Angola 1-0 in the round of 16, but ended the tournament by losing 0-1 to Mexico in the quarterfinals.

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