Top 10 Ones to watch of European Under-17 Championship 2013
The 12th edition of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship is all set for kick off. This year, the final tournament will be held in Slovakia between the 5th of May and 17th of May. 8 nations will race for the title and it’s predicted to become a very tight battle between some of the best nations in Europe.
For the neutral football fan the tournament will perhaps be somewhat less attractive as it lacks the presence of former title holders Holland, who have won two consecutive trophies in a row, two times champions Spain (2007, 2008), runners up in 2012 Germany (2009), France (2004) and football mad England (2010). But for the passionate football fan this tournament will give you the chance to get acquainted with some new bright football talents. For professional scouts it’s a nice occasion to see how the hot prospects handle pressure from the media and press.
Over 100 young soccer talents, born after 1 January 1996, will be measured by their performances by the media, football fans and scouts from the very best clubs in Europe. The UEFA Under-17 European Championship is the chance for every young footballer to increase their reputation and perhaps be snapped up by world class clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid.
The hot prospects of Euro U17 will follow in the footprints of former European Under-17 starlets such as Karim Benzema, Bojan Krkic, Stephan El Shaarawy, Wayne Rooney and Mario Götze among others. Last season Max Meyer (Schalke 04 & Germany) was named the Golden Player of the tournament. Who can earn the title as Golden Player of the tournament this year?
In this article we’ll take a closer look at the Top 10 Hot Prospects of UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2013; Get to know some of the hot prospects of the final round.
Alberto Cerri, Parma
Alberto Cerri is one of many profiles of the Italian Under 17 squad and can be recognized wearing shirt number 9. Alberto Cerri was trusted with the captain band in two matches of the elite round of European Under-17 Championship. He is one of the reasons why Italy Under-17 qualified for the final round, as he scored two decisive goals, one against Holland in the 78th minute and the other against Norway.
Cerri was born in Parma 6 April 1996. He is described as a very mature player. He is 190cm tall, weighs 82kg and is right footed. The powerful striker with much influence in the squad is physically strong, has good anticipation and technique. Cerri is good at creating space for others, has good first touch and can hold up the ball when needed. The attacking minded forward has proven to be good at positioning himself and can become vital for the Italian teams struggle for the semi-final.
Alberto Cerri got promoted to the first team of Parma before this season and earned his professional debut at March 30th 2013 playing 16 minutes against Pescara making him the youngest debutant in Serie A in the history of Parma. His record stands at 12 goals in 22 appearances for the Italian Under-17 national team and has featured in the youth levels of the Italian national team since 2011 when he was called up for Italy under-16. Daniel Zoratto, the head coach of Italy Under-17, regards Alberto Cerri as one of the key players for promotion to the semi final in the tournament.
Could he end up being awarded the title as Golden Player of the tournament?
Valmir Berisha, Halmstad BK
Valmir Berisha is perhaps the decisive cause why Sweden qualified for their first European Under-17 Championship by scoring a late goal in the extra time against Hungary. Valmir Berisha can be described as a versatile forward and has some of the similarities of a younger Edin Dzeko. Valmir Berisha has been an important player for Sweden Under-17 in the elite round. The Halmstad forward has recorded 5 goals and 2 assists in 3 appearances of the Under-17 elite round. The lethal left footed forward of Albanian origin can be described as a mature player with good positioning, great finishing and technique. He has good strength and has also scored some goals using his head. Valmir Berisha was in negotiations with Celtic earlier this year, but unfortunately Celtic and Halmstad never agreed on the transfer price. He has also been on a trial with Spanish Espanyol at the age of 14, and has been followed by Stoke and German HSV. Perhaps this tournament would become the big breakthrough for this young hot prospect?!
Valmir Berisha is together with Gentrit Citaku and Isak Ssewankambo one of the profiles of Sweden Under-17, but is labelled as one of the best Swedish players in his age group. He is born 06.06.1996 and wears the number 9 shirt for Sweden.
Adrian Grbic, VfB Stuttgart
Adrian Grbic is the star of the Austrian Under-17 squad together with Valentino Lazaro. He is described as one of the best talents in Austria for his age group and has potential to become an important player for the Austrian national team. Adrian Grbic was born 04.08.1996 and was bought by VfB Stuttgart before this season transferring from Rapid Vienna, where he was the centre of attention. At Stuttgart he is a fellow team mate of German striker Timo Werner.
Adrian Grbic has been an important player for the qualifiers of Austria Under-17 to the UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2013 recording 2 assists and 4 goals in 480 minutes of game play (6 appearances). The creative left winger has proven to be lethal this season, recording 16 goals in 17 appearances for the B-jugend of VfB Stuttgart, and has scored 8 goals in 11 appearances for the Austrian Under-17 team.
Adrian Grbic is a quick-footed left winger, who has shown some massive signs of improvement this season. The right footed technician is a creative player with much flair. His unpredictable play and long shot abilities makes him a real attacking threat. Adrian Grbic could be compared to his role-model Cristiano Ronaldo based on the step-over and attempts to quickly take on opponents in front of him. The European Under-17 Championship can become an important step in the football career of Adrian Grbic.
Can he score the dream goals needed for the Austrian team to promote from group A, where they will encounter two neighbours; Slovakia and Switzerland?
Alen Halilović, Dinamo Zagreb
Alen Halilovic is one of 10 players in the Croatian Under-17 Euro squad playing for Dinamo Zagreb. He was born 18th of June 1996 in Dubrovnik and is regarded as a remarkable hot prospect. The 170cm tall wonderkid got his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb on 29th September 2012, and became the youngest player ever playing for Dinamo Zagreb. In the next playing round he scored his first goal and became the youngest ever goalscorer in the Croatian First Division. This season he has been trusted with 16 appearances for Dinamo, scoring 2 goals, and has also featured in the UEFA Champions League given his debut against Paris Saint-Germain.
The Croatian Lionel Messi has only shown short glimpses of his huge potential in the qualifiers to the 2013 European Under-17 Championship. Alen Halilovic has played four matches making two assists, facing opponents such as Spain and France. Alen Halilovic is a left-footed attacking midfielder with free-kicks and lovely long shots as his specialty. He is often compared to both Luka Modric and Lionel Messi because of his excellent technique, flair and dribbling ability. The silky left footed maestro likes to humiliate his opponents by fierce direct running at high speed, placing the ball behind the goalkeeper with elegant long shots or making an easy lob over the goalkeeper when in one on one situations. Alen Halilovic has the technique, ball control, anticipation, vision and creativity to become the Golden Player of the tournament.
All eyes will be on number 10, the most valued player in the tournament, Alen Halilovic the hot prospect of Euro Under-17 2013
Gennaro Tutino, Napoli
A fellow teammate of Alberto Cerri is Gennaro Tutino which he has an excellent partnership with in the attacking line. The number 7, Gennaro Tutino of Italy Under-17, can be described as a right inside forward. He played the majority of matches in the qualifiers to the European Under-17 Championship. While Gennaro Tutino still aids his youth development by playing in the Napoli Primavera C, where he recorded 3 goals in 21 caps, he also features in the youth levels of the Italian national team regularly. For Italy under-17 he recorded 5 goals in 21 appearances. He has played 5 matches in the qualifiers to the Euro Under-17 and scored one important goal against Albania in the first match of the qualifiers.
This technically gifted winger can play as both left winger and striker and was born in Napoli 20.08.1996. Gennaro Tutino is 177cm tall, weighs 66kg and is right footed. Gennaro Tutino has strong legs which aids his quickness and agility, and has some of the similarites of Stephan el Shaarawy. His main strengths are in attacking parts of play where he is excellent at getting into the available space and is a real threat in one on one situations. Gennaro Tutino has good technique and dribbling because of his low center of gravity.
Look out for this hot prospect in the tournament!
Josip Basic, Hajduk Split
Josip Basic and Alen Halilovic could become the is the captain of Croatia Under-17 and wears the number 7 shirt which may make you quickly think of Cristiano Ronaldo. Josip Basic, the hot prospect of Croatia, has been a very important player for the qualifiers to the European Under-17 Championship. The right winger (or central forward) has scored some important goals in the qualifiers and recorded 1 assist and 4 goals in 6 appearances for Croatia Under-17, which makes him the teams top scorer. Josip Basic was born in Split on March 2nd 1996 and is 176cm tall weighing 71 kg. He moved to Hajduk Split in 2010, and got his professional debut 7 April 2013 against Inter Zaprešic.
The versatile winger has some of the similarities of Alen Halilovic and has put him in the shadow after receiving the captaincy of the Croatian national team. Josip Basic has very good speed, technique and dribbling and has some of the same skills as Alen. Josip Basic has formerly been followed by Liverpool who are very keen on securing the signature of the bright Croatian wonderkid. With an excellent performance at Euro Under-17 2013, there can be an increase of interest in this bright talent.
Can Josip Basic lead Croatia Under-17 to their first Euro U17 victory?
Valentino Lazaro, FC Red Bull Salzburg
As equally important Josip Basic is for the Croatian team, Valentino Lazaro is for the Austrian team. He is the most valued player in the Austrian team and wears the number 10 shirt. Valentino Lazaro was born on 24. March 1996 in Graz. He is regarded as one of the brightest Austrian talents. The 180cm tall hot prospect of Greek and Angolan origin was snapped up by FC Red Bull Salzburg in 2011. He got quickly noticed by Inter Milan, but signed a professional first team contract with the Austrian team instead. He got his professional debut in the start of November 2012 where he substituted the older brother of Veton Berisha, Valon. Since then Valentino has earned 4 matches for Red Bull Salzburg. Valentino Lazaro has recorded an overall of 10 matches for Austria Under-17, 3 of them in the qualifiers to the Euro Under-17 elite round. He has made 2 assists in these 3 matches.
The attacking midfielder can be described as an elegant team player who works hard both to win possession and create chances for his side. With his remarkable technique and dribbling he feeds his teammates with brilliant passes or makes some incredible dribbles to get the required space for his team mates to work in. Valentino Lazaro likes to come deep in the field and would become an excellent playmaker. He reminds me of Zinedine Zidane with his short flick-ons and running with the ball, but most of all he is hard working and a team player, which I value more!
Finally back after a long injury, Valentino Lazaro can become vital for the Austrian teams promotion to the final.
Federico Bonazzoli, Inter Milan
Federico Bonazzoli is regarded as one of the best Italian talents coming through the Nerazzurri academy. The left footed striker has shown how remarkably lethal his left foot is the last couple of months. In the last couple of weeks he has trained with the first team of Inter Milan. Federico Bonazzoli is one of the youngest in the tournament, but can prove to become one of the best. In October, Federico Bonazzoli, scored a hat-trick against Lichtenstein in only 10 minutes! He has recorded 3 goals in 6 appearances and has scored a total of 12 goals in the youth league. Since being called up for the Italian Under-17 team he has recorded an overall of 3 goals in 10 appearances.
Federico Bonazzoli who can be described as a natural striker similar to Giampaolo Pazzini, was born 21th of May 1997 in Manerbio, a small city near Brescia. Bonazzoli’s best skills can be summed up on being excellent at getting in the right position. His off the ball movement and technique has proved to give him good results. He has many aspects to still work on and develop further, but Federico Bonazzoli can become one of the best Italian strikers ever!
Fran Brodic, Dinamo Zagreb
Fran Brodic quickly took the spotlight from Alen Halilovic previously this year. The young striker born 8. January 1997 is regarded as the hottest prospect in Croatia. The new wonderkid has been followed by the best teams in the world, such as Manchester United, Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Inter Milan. Fran Brodic scored the final goal against Spain Under 17, which sealed their fate. He has recorded 4 assists and 2 goals in 5 appearances and has been the most important player for the Croatian Under-17 teams qualifiers to the European Championship. Fran Brodic has had a great start to 2013. He got his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb on 14th April 2013 and beat Alen Halilovic in becoming the youngest ever playing for the first team of Dinamo with only four days.
Fran Brodic got promoted to the Croatia Under-17 after an amazing record for Croatia Under-16, 7 goals in 9 appearances. The lethal striker normally wears the number 9 shirt. He is described as a quick player with good strength and physicality. The most striking skills would be his calm and composure, which makes him able to score goal after goal. Fran Brodic has also good technique.
Fran Brodic, the new Croatian Wonderkid can quickly become the Golden Player of the Tournament – Watch out Italy!
Sascha Horvath, Austria Vienna
Sascha Horvath is another hot prospect born in 22. august 1996 in Austria. The little technician has played every match for Austria Under-17 in European Under-17 Championship 2013 (6 caps, 1 assist). Sascha Horvath is a versatile central midfielder who has been trusted with the number 6 shirt at Austria Vienna. He can also play as a defensive or attacking midfielder. He is 164cm tall and weighs 65 kg. Sascha Horvath is yet to make his debut for Austria Vienna but has all the skills needed to become a great Austrian player. Hermann Geger, a Austrian national amateur coach has this to say about the skills of Sascha Horvath;
He is technically strong, fast and has a high game intelligence. The whole package is spectacular. Because it does not matter that it is smaller.
Sascha Horvath has played in the Austrian Regionalliga Ost this season recording 4 assists and 1 goal in 19 matches. For Austria Under 17 he has recorded 3 goals in 10 appearances.
Other Important Players for the Final Round Teams
Anton Mitryushkin The 186cm tall Spartak Moscow goalkeeper is the captain of the Russian Under-17 team. He has recorded 12 caps for Russia Under-17 and 12 caps for Russia Under-16. Anton Mitryushkin will be an important player for the Russian teams way to the final. Russia is in the group of death together with Croatia, Italy and Ukraine.
Date of birth: 08.02.1996 in Krasnoyarsk.
Isak Ssewankambo is a central defender or defensive midfielder who is under contract with Chelsea. The Swedish ball winning midfielder has recorded 6 assists in 6 appearances in the European Under-17 Championship. Born on 27 February 1996 in Angered in Sweden, has played 5 matches for the Under-21 team of Chelsea in the last couple of months.
Elio Capradossi is a central defender contracted by AS Roma. He was born on 11. March 1996 in Kampala, Uganda. Elio Capradossi has recorded amazing 16 caps for Italy Under-17 and has played all matches in the European Under-17 Championship 2013.
Petar Mamic is yet another Dinamo Zagreb talent. The talented left full back gave many good performances for the Croatian Under-17 in the qualifiers to the European Under-17 Championship 2013. The Croatian hot prospect was born 6. March 1996 and has recorded 2 goals in 5 matches, which is pretty amazing, given his position on the pitch. Could Petar Mamic become the new Sime Vrsaljko?
Andriy Boyarchuk is the second top-scorer of the tournament if we look away from players who are not in the final round of the tournament. His record stands at 2 assists and 5 goals in 6 appearances. He scored a hat-trick against Estonia in the elite round and also the decisive goal against Germany, which knocked them out of the tournament. He was born 23. April 1996 and is under contract with Shakhtar Donetsk. Like Poland is known for producing great goalkeepers, Denmark for their great midfielders, Ukraine has now managed to develop a great hot prospect who can follow in the foot paths of Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko.
Daniil Buranov is a Spartak Moscow attacking midfielder. He was born 11. February 1996 in Moscow and is 178cm tall. In the Euro Under-17 Championship the technical midfielder has recorded 4 assists and 1 goal in 6 matches. He has an overall record of 2 goals in 12 appearances for Russia Under-17 and has also 10 caps for Russia Under-16. He was promoted to Spartak II in January. The hot prospect with number 8 shirt can also play as central midfielder.
Filip Lesniak is a hot prospect born in Kosice in 14. May 1996. The Slovakian talent is under contract with Tottenham Hotspurs and is a central midfielder.