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FIFA U-17 World Cup: 5 Ballon d'Or Finalists who started out at the U-17 stage

5 Ballon d'Or Finalists and world class players who represented their nations in a FIFA U-17 World Cup during their careers.


Luis Figo
Figo featured in the 1989 edition of the tournament in Scotland

Final preparations are underway as India gears up for their first FIFA tournament. The FIFA U-17 World Cup is now a little over a month away from beginning and the hype is advancing. The prestigious tournament already has quite the reputation for showcasing some world class future talents and promises to do the same this year.

A wide range of stars from the past as well as the present have dazzled in this format and have gone on to win multiple trophies for club and country throughout their professional careers. It may also be worth noting that quite a few of Ballon d'Or finalists have played in the FIFA U-17 World Cup during their careers and this looks like a very promising sign for the millions of Indians who will flock to stadiums to watch the tournament, later this year.

An astounding 600 players from 24 nations will showcase their talent on the pitch in a month's time and a few of them will certainly go on to reach the heights of their predecessors.

Here are five Ballon d'Or finalists who started out in the FIFA U-17 World Cup:

#1 Luis Figo

The Portuguese midfielder showcased his talent in the 1989 edition of the tournament that took place in Scotland, where he notched two goals in six games for Portugal who were the highest scoring team in the tournament with 11 goals. Though two goals may not seem like a lot, you must remember Figo was a midfielder and the highest scorer of the tournament had only scored three.

Portugal got knocked out in the semis by the hosts Scotland but young Luis Figo definitely did make headlines worldwide. Fast forward 11 years and you'll see that Figo not only got nominated but also managed to win the Balon d'Or in 2000 despite all the turmoil surrounding his controversial move to Real Madrid from Barcelona.

There were not a lot of trophies to show for that season but a lot of impressive and important performances.

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