FIFA U-17 World Cup: Twelve stars who shone in Indonesia
The FIFA U-17 World Cup Indonesia 2023™ ended in spectacular style on Saturday, with Germany coming out on top in a stunning Surakarta showdown.
From the youngsters who starred in Surabaya, to those who bedazzled in Bandung, here are 12 of the standout players from Indonesia 2023.
Mathis Amougou (France)
The final goalscorer at Indonesia 2023, Amougou didn’t earn a winner’s medal, but he did take home the adidas Bronze Ball for his efforts. Les Bleuets’ No20 is dynamic with and without the ball and was a positive driving force from the French midfield engine room.
Nimfasha Berchimas (USA)
He might have been the youngest member of USA’s Indonesia roster, but Berchimas – aged just 15 – wasn’t just there to make up the numbers. The Charlotte FC man scored three goals in the group stage, including a memorable brace against Korea Republic, helping the Stars and Stripes into the knockout phase.
Ismail Bouneb (France)
Another vital cog in the final-making French machine, Bouneb delivered in plenty of big moments for his side. He scored the winning goals in both the quarter-final and the semi-final, as well as netting his penalty in the shootout defeat to Germany.
Paris Brunner (Germany)
The proud recipient of the adidas Golden Ball, Brunner followed in the footsteps of the likes of Cesc Fabregas and fellow countryman Toni Kroos in receiving the coveted award, and for good reason. He scored five goals all told – including a brace in the semi-final and a goal in the showpiece match – to take him to the prize.
Noah Darvich (Germany)
Captain Darvich netted both Germany’s first and final goal at these finals, as the Barcelona ace helped propel his side to the trophy lift with a string of exceptional displays from midfield.
Ibrahim Diarra (Mali)
Mali produced another excellent showing at the U-17 finals, thanks in no small part to captain fantastic Diarra. The midfield dynamo scored five goals and laid on four assists to win the adidas Silver Boot, while helping his nation to the third spot on the podium.
Claudio Echeverri (Argentina)
From Diego Maradona, to Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi, the FIFA World Cup – both senior and youth tournaments – are so often illuminated by the brilliance of an Argentinian No10, with Indonesia 2023 proving no different. The mercurial Echeverri score five goals – including a stunning hat-trick against Brazil – to claim the adidas Bronze Boot.
Record champions Brazil were unable to add to their five U-17 crowns in Southeast Asia, but forward Estevao was able to catch the eye of onlookers. His well-taken brace in the last-16 defeat to Ecuador will live long in the memory.
Hamidou Makalou (Mali)
Mali would pick up a silver double in Indonesia, with Makalou joining Diarra in departing with a personal prize: the adidas Silver Ball. A string of fine performances were topped with one of the goals of the tournament in the Play-off for Third Place, as he skilfully weaved his way into the Argentina box, bypassed the goalkeeper and tapped home.
Max Moerstedt (Germany)
Brunner’s partner in crime at the sharp-end of Germany’s attack was versatile forward Moerstedt. The Hoffenheim man scored five times all told at the finals, including a crucial strike in the ding-dong semi-final clash with Argentina, before providing the assist for Darvich’s goal in the final.
Joel Ndala (England)
While England departed Indonesia following a disappointing last-16 exit to Uzbekistan, forward Ndala enjoyed a personally successful campaign. He netted an excellent, last-minute winner against IR Iran and a pivotal goal against Brazil in the group stage, as well as England’s sole knockout-stage effort against the Uzbeks.
Agustin Ruberto (Argentina)
Goalscorer-in-chief Ruberto became the first Argentinian player to win the adidas Golden Boot at this level, with his eight goal showing helping La Albiceleste to the last four and etching his name into World Cup history.