The countdown to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup kicks off in earnest this Wednesday when tickets for the youth football extravaganza held in the UAE finally go on sale.
The biennial Under-17 World Cup is the biggest international youth tournament in world football and has served as the platform for a number of the game’s greats to showcase their talent.
The likes of Brazil’s two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, former Ballon d’Or winner and Portugal captain Luis Figo, World Cup winning Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero, and Argentine midfield legend Juan Sebastian Veron have all graced the competition in the past.
And this year is set to be no different. The 2013 tournament will shine a light on football’s next generation, and with tickets going on sale on Wednesday; you have the chance to secure your seats to cheer on your nation and watch the game’s future stars in action.
Tickets will be priced from as little as Dh10 ($2.70) - so there should be no excuses - and will be available through the FIFA website and a toll-free hotline from 6pm on Wednesday evening.
The build-up to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup is taking shape nicely, with the successful launch of the official tournament emblem, tournament ambassador in Al Ain and UAE star Omar Abdulrahman, and the official mascot.
Abdulrahman is expected to be present at the official ticket launch this Wednesday when more details on how you can get your hands on tickets for the festival of football will be revealed.
Venue packages will be available from this Wednesday, with the cheapest priced at Dh35, while individual briefs will be available post the group draw in August.
Twenty-four teams will compete in the Under-17 World Cup which is taking place across six UAE cities and includes a total of 52 matches played over a three week period from October 17 to November 8 inside the best stadiums in the country.
Emirates Stadium in Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah Stadium, Fujairah Stadium, and Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain will all host matches, as well as the Rashid Stadium - the home of President’s Cup winners Al Ahli - and Al Jazira’s Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, which will host the final.
Mexico will head into the tournament as former hosts and reigning champions following their 2-0 victory over Uruguay in the 2011 final, but they will face fierce competition in their pursuit of defending their title.
Three time winners Brazil will be the team to beat, while the likes of Argentina, Italy, and Japan will also fancy their chances come October. Meanwhile hosts UAE will be aiming to take advantage of home support and produce a good showing to make their nation proud.
While we are sure to be introduced to a plethora of talented players we have not yet heard of, there will be a few names to look out for at the upcoming tournament.
Brazil’s Abner is regarded as one of the finest young defenders in world football, while Italy captain and Parma striker Alberto Cerri is also tipped to make a big impact in the UAE.
It is sure to be a thrilling football spectacle so make sure you get your tickets early to avoid any disappointment.
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