The most coveted star in the South American U-20 Championship

After being canceled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the South American Under-20 Championship returns on Thursday with Bogota and Cali in Colombia as host cities. This tournament originated in 1995, it mainly opens the international football calendar, and it is also a qualifier for this year’s U-20 Men’s World Cup, which will be held in May-June in Indonesia. The top three will also take part in this year’s Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Additionally, since the Summer Olympics only allow three players over the age of 23 on each team, this tournament serves as a recruiting tool for Paris 2024.

The shape is completely unique. There are only two groups of five teams that play in a round-robin format. The top three from each group advance to the final group of six players, and at that final stage, they will play each other once. The winner is decided by most points as there is no knock-out, final or third-place format at any stage.

There are plenty of storylines worth your time in this year’s competition. The defending champions, Ecuador, are hoping to do it again, but many teams have had time to develop since then. The three They won in 2019, which was their first ever title. It might be fair to say that Brazil, for example, is aching to get this trophy as it has been 12 years since the most successful country in this tournament (11 titles) was crowned champion.

Then there is the talented Argentina, who will use all the motivation from the senior team’s historic victory in Qatar to secure victory for the first time since 2015. This Albiceleste The team will be the first to officially wear the jersey with three stars. They may not have the coach Lionel Scaloni, but they will be led by a former player who knows exactly how to compete at the highest level: Javier Mascherano. Uruguay are always strong contenders, and with a daring squad full of talented individuals who play for very big clubs, this could be a good year for them.

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But don’t neglect hosts Colombia: they are going through a mini-revolution within the federation after their first team failed to qualify for the World Cup. There is a lot of talent here, and they are ready to win at home for the first time in a decade.

This contest is a proverbial gold mine for Scouts from around the world. It could act as a life-changing opportunity for players as well as South American clubs who could benefit from European interest. There will be a lot of European clubs who will pay attention to this competition.

However, there will be no Indrik. The Brazilian prodigy – who will play for Real Madrid next year – was originally selected on the squad’s release, but Palmeiras asked the federation to remove him so he could participate in the Paulista tournament. Manchester United wing Alexander Garnacho Also, he will not appear for Argentina either, as the Red Devils have chosen to stay with the club.

Then there’s 19-year-old Colombian John Doran, who recently moved to Aston Villa from Chicago Fire FC for $18 million plus incentives. At the time of writing, Duran has left the Colombian setup for Birmingham to finish his medical clearance, contract and employment. Colombia hopes he can return to the Championship, but that will depend on the Premier League club. His compatriot, Juan David “Juanda” Fuentes – who plays for Barcelona B – will certainly carry the load until then.

Another star who is also heading to the Premier League, but plays in the Championship (unlike Duran,) is an 18-year-old Brazilian. Andrey Santos. Chelsea recently appointed Vasco da Gama midfielder and will welcome him back after the competition.

As a Peruvian player, it is my duty – or else my family will disown me – to also point out Matias Lazo, Melgar’s versatile defender. He is a solid leader who will be immediately tested when Peru take on Brazil in the opening match.

However, aside from these names, there is a lot of largely unrecognized talent in the tournament. Watch these five guys: Don’t say you weren’t warned.

The only member of Ecuador’s squad to play in Europe, this talented 19-year-old is at Ajax and represents the reserve team on loan, with the option to make the move permanent, from Independiente del Valle, the Ecuadorian powerhouse that gave us the likes of Moisés Caicedo and Gonzalo Plata. Delgado, nephew of Agustín “Tín” Delgado (the former all-time leading scorer for the national team before The end of Valencia Tully) is a powerful midfielder who enjoys the art of quick passing, tackling hard and scoring goals whenever possible. He is a humble and intelligent young man who moved to the Netherlands at the age of 18, without knowing a single word of Dutch or English, but has adapted well in one of the best academies in the world.

“I did everything I could to be here,” Delgado told Diario Expresso. “I wanted to be here and support the team with the short experience I had abroad.”

Don’t let his modesty fool you. This youngster is a powerful threat who is ready to help Ecuador defend their title.

Dario Osorio | Chile | 18 | wing | University of Chile

Universidad de Chile, a giant in Chilean football although it has been struggling lately, (due to economic problems, they have suffered relegation in the past few seasons), has the most players in Patricio Urmazabal’s squad, which is not surprising. . The club has a number of good opportunities and Osorio, the quick-thinking and inverted right winger, is no exception.

The great Chilean team has suffered from the cold realization of its golden years Arturo VidalAnd Alexis Sanchez And Charles Aranguiz is slowly fading away, but there are plenty of young talents ready to graduate. Osorio is one of their brightest – he’s quick, gritty and a headache for defenders with his fantastic left foot. There are many reports about his next destination, from Serie A to Tottenham Hotspur, and there is no doubt that we will see him in Europe sooner rather than later. For now, he was enjoying his abilities in this competition.

Maximo Peroni | Argentinian | 20 | Midfielder | Velez Sarsfield

By the time you finish reading this sentence, Peroni – a proven and self-confident midfielder for Velez Sarsfield – may also be ready for the European game. More specifically, Manchester City. Pep Guardiola is so interested in Peroni that he contacted the club and representatives of the aforementioned Peroni and Mascherano, who naturally knows the English Premier League well. But Velez boss Sergio Rapisarda is not happy because he has been disappointed in Guardiola, Man City and even Mascherano, all of whom are trying to influence Pironi’s decision. It is understood Pironi’s move to City is set and he will head to Manchester after the tournament.

Perrone plays well above his age. He is an intelligent athlete with good timing, composure and a keen eye for goal. If Argentina wins this tournament, Peroni will be a great reason for that.

Victor Rock | Brazil | 17 | forward | Atletico Paranaense

To avoid exaggeration, it is important to always remain realistic with expectations. But Roque is the real deal. The 17-year-old forward plays for Atlético Paranaense and is said to have garnered a lot of fans, including Chelsea, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Everyone will have to wait until he turns 18, and Paranaense will demand a high price because they see Roque as a key player, not only for the club but also for Brazil. He is a classic striker who can play anywhere across the front line.

There have been comparisons to Ronaldo Fenomeno, but I refuse to go there because that kind of pressure shouldn’t be applied to someone so young. Let Roque make his own path, a path that looks very promising.

Alvaro Rodriguez | Uruguay | 18 | forward | Real Madrid

Born in Spain to Uruguayan parents, Rodriguez is one of two Real Madrid Castilla players to take part in the tournament (the other being Nico Paz), and Uruguay coach Marcelo Brogli is ecstatic to host him, as Rodriguez had previously participated in the tournament. Under 18 years old in Spain.

“It’s great that he’s here, because we’ve been trying for months to get him to come,” Broly said earlier this week. “He’s a very down-to-earth kid and he’s adapted to the team very quickly. Our game suits him well because we like to go far quickly, so hopefully we can get him into danger zones.”

That’s exactly what Rodriguez, who made his Real Madrid debut in the Copa del Rey last week, did. Regarding Uruguay, there was no doubt in his mind that he eventually wanted to come and represent the nation.

“I made the decision,” he said, not his father, former Uruguay international Daniel “Coquito” Rodriguez. “My heart goes out to Uruguay.”

It will certainly be more than his heart as Uruguay fans will enjoy ‘Coquito Junior’. Ready to make an impact for blue lightwho will be looking to make up for the disappointing performance of their first team at the World Cup.

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