AFTER winning this year’s African Youth Championship title in Rwanda, Ghana are eager to renew their hunt for success on the world stage when they take on the world’s best in the Under-20 Fifa World Youth Championship set for this September in Egypt.
Ghana together with Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and hosts Egypt are Africa’s representatives at the tournament and will be seeking to win Africa its first junior title.
The Black Satellites, one of the most successful African sides in the event are eager to improve on their previous best performances which came in 1993 and 2001 when they were losing finalists to Brazil and Argentina respectively.
After displaying probably the best football along with South Africa in the Kigali championship, Ghana captained by Ayew Dede, son of Africa’s soccer legend Abedi Pele has what it takes to push for top honours in Egypt.
The U-20 World Youth Championship which dates back in 1977 has been dominated by South America. Out of 16 competitions, South America has won 10 while Europe has claimed the other six titles.
In 2007, Lionel Messi-led Argentina for a second time on the trot won a record sixth title after a dazzling performance against Nigeria’s Flying Eagles. Meanwhile, in South America, the continent’s U-20 Youth Championship is in progress with four places at stake.
The tournament which runs until 18 February has attracted six-time world champions Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela while Group B pits four-time champions Brazil with Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay. Just like in the AYC, the top four sides qualify for the World Cup.
In the sixteen tournaments held, only seven nations have won the title. Argentina is the most successful team with six titles, followed by Brazil with four titles. Portugal won two titles, while Germany, Spain, and formerly existing nations Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have won the title once each.