Champions England dominate ESPN's U-17 World Cup Team of the tournament
England lifted their first U-17 World Cup title, capping off an incredible year of success for their junior teams, with a 5-2 win over Spain in the U-17 World Cup final in Kolkata, India over the weekend. The tournament saw record crowds and a new record for most goals at an U-17 World Cup, with several young players standing out.
Here's ESPN's pick of the stars who shone brightest -- not surprisingly, the English team features quite prominently -- and when you read news about some of these names and their transfer fees worth millions, remember you saw them sizzle first in the Indian autumn.
GK - Gabriel Brazao - Brazil
Matches: 7 | Goals conceded: 5 (3rd best) | Clean sheets: 4
Brazao walks into our team of the tournament, with his class apparent from the first game itself when he denied Spain chance after chance. Great at positioning and an excellent shot-stopper, Brazao didn't let in a goal from open play before the semifinals, finishing with the Golden Glove.
RB - Steven Sessegnon - England
Matches: 5 | Assists: 4 | Clean sheets: 2
An unused substitute in the first two group games, his composure in defence and marauding runs over the next few games earn him a spot. A versatile player, Sessegnon's telepathic understanding with Phil Foden made England always dangerous from the right wing. Sessegnon saved the best for last, combining with Foden for the first two assists that sparked the team's fightback from 2-0 down in the final in front of a packed house.
CB - Amir Esmaeil Zadeh - Iran
Matches: 5 | Goals conceded: 5 | Clean sheets: 2
The surprise package in the group stages with their three wins -- including a 4-0 demolition of Germany -- Iran's defensive solidity was down to the understanding between the two centre-backs, of which Esmaeil Zadeh was instrumental in keeping Iran's hopes alive till the quarterfinals.
CB - Gideon Mensah - Ghana
Matches: 5 | Goals conceded: 3 | Clean sheets: 3
Mensah was the strong centre-back strikers didn't want to mess with. Standing at 6 feet, it was difficult to escape the wrath of Mensah's tackle, either in the air or along the ground. Fearless and confident, the Ghanian shone in the group stages and it was only Mali in the quarters that got the better of him on a rain-soaked evening in Guwahati.
LB - Weverson - Brazil
Matches: 6 | Goals: 1 | Clean sheets: 4
Roberto Carlos would have been happy seeing Weverson play. A combination of technique, skill and pluck made Weverson a constant goal threat, as well as the first name on the start list for coach Carlos Amadeu. He was injured ahead of the quarterfinals against Germany, but got his chance as a second-half substitute, and pulled Brazil back from the brink with an equalizer worthy of a 63,000-strong crowd at the Salt Lake Stadium.
LW - Callum Hudson-Odoi - England
Matches: 7 | Goals: 1 | Assists: 2
The big Chelsea player got better and better on the left channel as the tournament progressed. With blistering pace and a strong physique, Hudson-Odoi dribbled past defenders, put in the crosses, low balls and pin-point through balls to devastating effect. 2-0 down in the final, it was Hudson-Odoi who Spain just couldn't handle and with two assists to Foden in the final, the winger finally got numbers behind his impressive showing throughout the World Cup.
CM - Cesar Gelabert - Spain
Matches: 6 | Goals: 2 | Assists: 4
At the heart of the Spanish midfield, Real Madrid's Cesar Gelabart had the vision of an eagle with a solid eye on goal. Spain coach Santi Denia summed up his philosophy when he said, "We don't just want to have possession, we want do something with it," and that was what Gelabart did every time the ball came to him.
CM - Phil Foden - England
Matches: 7 | Goals: 3 | Assists: 1
Golden Ball winner Phil Foden came to life in the final, making the Spanish defence look ordinary in an extraordinary second-half performance. Foden's energy and craft on the ball lifted the whole English side as they dismantled a team they had lost the European final in May to at the World Cup. Foden's stats understate his influence in the field while in possession. He was England's creative spark, a master of deception and his presence in midfield made everything look easy.
RW - Paulinho - Brazil
Matches: 7 | Goals: 3 | Assists: 2
One of the most mature players at the World Cup, it is not surprising that Paulinho is being chased by the best scouts of Europe. Good with finding a pass and making crafty runs, Paulinho provided Brazil with goals and intelligence. Take him out and you don't see Brazil going as far as they did in the tournament. With his winners against Spain and Germany coming in matches where the Brazilians trailed early, Paulinho demonstrated he can deliver when it matters.
CF - Rhian Brewster - England
Matches: 6 | Goals: 8 | Assists: 1
Winner of the Golden Boot award, Brewster rose in stature after missing a sitter in England's first game. Once the hugely impressive Jadon Sancho, left for Dortmund, Brewster took over, and hit the ground running with two hat-tricks in the quarters and semis. His positional awareness and understanding with the midfield were his biggest assets, but the confidence with which he led the line reaped high rewards for England. Brewster sparked their revival against Spain with the first of five goals in the final.
CF - Abel Ruiz - Spain
Matches: 7 | Goals: 6
While the Spanish midfield did all the hard-work, Barcelona's Abel Ruiz was there to get the job done. He made life difficult for centre-backs with his presence of mind, and exceptional control of the ball. The temperament he showed in dispatching a 90th-minute penalty against France in the knockouts also showed his ability to deliver under pressure.
Manager - Steve Cooper - England
Matches: 7 | Wins: 7
Cooper told his England team not to change their style of play and to believe in their philosophy. The philosophy was to play open, attractive, possession-based football and it worked like a charm. England ended as the tournament's top scorers, blowing opponents away with goals from all around the pitch.
Substitutes: Curtis Anderson (England), Joel Latibeaudiere (England), Wesley (Brazil), Yacine Adli (France), Mohammad Camara (Mali), Sergio Gomez (Spain), Hadji Drame (Mail), Lassana N'Diaye (Mali).