Five players that went on to great things after the U17 World Cup

England's tenacious Young Lions beat Spain 5-2 to lift the U-17 World Cup on Saturday, and while the road ahead may be long, FFT picks out five players who went on to establish themselves after shining at the tournament...

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Toni Kroos

A product of the Bayern Munich's football academy, Toni Kroos was a member of the German squad that finished third in the 2007 U17 World Cup in South Korea.

Despite not winning the tournament, Kroos was able to earn himself the Golden Ball - as the tournament's best player, and finished as third highest scorer.

Kroos recently mentioned that his experiences at the World Cup was “one of the most important in his career”.

The midfielder recently mentioned that his experiences in South Korea was “one of the most important" events in his career.  

Less than a month after the conclusion of the World Cup, Kroos broke into the Bayern Munich first team, scoring on his debut and laying on two assists.

After a loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen and a solid couple of years at Bayern, Kroos hit greater heights by joining Real Madrid. He won the FIFA World Cup in 2014 with the German senior team. 

Cesc Fabregas

Following some sparkling displays at the U17 World Cup in 2003, Cesc Fabregas finished the tournament as the winner of the Golden Boot and joint top scorer with five goals.

With his incisive passing and goal-scoring prowess from midfield, it was little wonder Arsene Wenger snapped him up from Barcelona just weeks after the tournament.

Fabregas shone at Arsenal even at a young age

Fabregas went on to captain the club and establish himself as one of the best playmakers in the Premier League.

After breaking Arsenal fans' hearts by returning to his boyhood club Barcelona, he ultimately burnt all bridges with the Gunners by joining their London rivals Chelsea in 2014.

He won the FIFA World Cup with Spain in 2010.


The world's most expensive player always seemed to have something special about him even during his playing days at Santos, where his dazzling ability on the ball drew comparisons with the great Pele.

After his performance at 2009 U17 World Cup in Nigeria - Brazil were knocked out in the first round, but Neymar netted in their opening fixture, there was widespread clamour for the twinkled-toed youngster to be named in the squad for the senior squad for the 2010 World Cup, but he was left at home.

Neymar's Brazil crashed out early, but that didn't stop him

Neymar signed for Barcelona in 2013 and went on to be a part of the deadly MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) trio that terrorised opponents.

That was until Paris Saint Germain (PSG) splashed the cash (222 million euros to be exact) to take the Brazilian to France earlier this year, where he has firmly established himself as the main man.