Under-20 World Cup 2013 Best XI


France celebrate their penalty shoot out win v Uruguay

France emerged victorious from a penalty shootout with Uruguay to win their first ever U20 World title in Istanbul on Saturday.  After a slow start to the tournament, Les Bleus began to show their class in the knock out stages with high-scoring victories over Turkey and Uzbekistan.  A Florian Thauvin inspired brace saw off Ghana in the semis before edging a dogged and organised Uruguay side from the spot after a goalless 120 minutes.

It was a heart-breaking end for the resolute South Americans who had battled their way to the final, beating favourites Spain along the way, based on a solid defence and the tireless running of midfielders Laxalt, Gino, Pais and Cristoforo.  Despite a versatile range of forwards, ultimately Uruguay couldn’t break the deadlock.

An entertaining Ghana claimed bronze ahead of the surprise package Iraq, who were the revelation of the tournament.  Playing attractive football and supplemented by a brilliant team spirit, many nations were forced to sit up and take notice of the Asian runners up.

Elsewhere much fancied Spain crashed out early and Colombia, Nigeria, Chile and Portugal were also unable to live up to their pre-tournament billing, while England finished bottom of their group without a win.

The first blog I ever wrote, some two years ago now, was a best XI from the 2011 edition of this tournament, in which the likes of Oscar, James Rodriguez and Isco all starred.  With this in mind, i’ve decided to come up with a best XI from this year’s competition.  Playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, here is my best XI for Turkey 2013

GK: Areola;  LB: Adnan, RB: Varela, CB: Zouma, CB: Gimenez;  MC: Odjer, MC: Pogba;  AML: Acheampong, AMC: Quintero, AMR: Bruma;  SC: Jese Rodriguez

For a full detailed profile click the link below where you’ll find an in-depth look at these players at Back Page Football


Quintero makes the team