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FIFA U-17 World Cup Final: Euro Revenge on England's Mind Ahead of Spain Clash

This is the same team that were beaten in a tie breaker at the U-17 Euros earlier in the year and revenge is surely going to be on the mind of the Young Lions who have been in roaring form all through the month.

Abhimanyu Sen | News18 Sports

Updated:October 28, 2017, 9:43 AM IST
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FIFA U-17 World Cup Final: Euro Revenge on England's Mind Ahead of Spain Clash
A file photo of England's first game against Chile (Image: FIFA)
Kolkata: All the way back in the 19th century India’s colonial rulers – the British began building their empire from the eastern port of Kolkata. Close to 200 years later, the England U-17 football team are on the cusp of creating history in the city.

Led by the centre-back Joel Latibeaudiere with Coach Steve Cooper, England will take on Spain in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the City of Joy, and hope that they end the night with more joy than despair.

This is the same team that were beaten in a tie breaker at the U-17 Euros earlier in the year and revenge is surely going to be on the mind of the Young Lions who have been in roaring form all through the month.

“This is a massive moment for English football, and the fact that we got past Brazil in the manner we did has given us a lot of confidence. The signs are that we are on the right track and the team will do their best to stick to the plans once again,” said Cooper on the eve of the big match.

That England have traditionally not done well on the international stage is a fact the coach is clear about. “We were never the favourites, and going into the final, we aren’t as well. But we will treat our opponents, Spain with the same kind of respect and plan in the same manner as we did with all our opponents.”

Cooper’s boys have been credited with the ability to play a style of football that most would not associate with his team.

The likes of Phil Foden, Hudson-Odoi, Gibbs White and of course the red hot Rhian Brewster have played a very attractive brand of football through the 6 matches so far, and one can safely assume that they are not changing their plan of action.

Of course, three of those games also involved the dynamic attacker Jadon Sancho who was forced to return to Germany midway through the tournament.

England have scored 18 goals in the tournament, scoring three in each game save one, against Japan which they won due to the heroics of Curtis Anderson in a penalty shoot-out. The Lions have also kept 3 clean sheets in the tournament so far.

The defence led by the captain Latibeaudiere, Sessegnon, Guehi and Panzo will have to bring their A game to the party, as the duo of Abel Ruiz and Ferran Torres are capable of ripping apart any defence on their day.

“We have been working together to play in a certain manner with a certain plan in every game. We know our opponents well and we will plan accordingly for them. Spain are a very strong and compact team. The target has to be to stick to our plan and not waver from it. The pressure of a World Cup final is massive, but we would rather be pressured to do well than fear failure,” quipped Cooper.

“We have the acumen and the plans, we have to make it count on the big day.”

Quite clearly the English are upbeat about their chances and are not shying away from a battle, an attitude that is a must at a stage like this.

“The team has performed really well up to now and even though we did not expect to win all the games the way we did, the boys have earned the right to be in this place on this day,” said a very proud Steve Cooper, who also admitted that his style of coaching was influenced by the Spanish style of football from his days at Liverpool.

“The Euro final was a different experience for us and we have learnt and grown from that game. We are well prepared for Spain,” says a confident Latibeaudiere as his coach looked on.

When these Young Lions walk into the field of play, they will go past a picture of the legendary English captain Bobby Moore – a defender who led his men to the country’s first ever World Cup win at the Wembley in 1966.

Latibeaudiere has previously mentioned that the former captain is an inspiration to them, and pointed out that the team will do their best to bring home the trophy, their third World Cup crown and the first at this competition.

“Captaining my country in this all European final is a great honour for me and a dream come true. We are confident in our style of play,” he signed off.
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