U20 World Cup XI
France were crowned FIFA Under-20 World Cup champions for the first time in their history on Saturday. Our man in Turkey, Pete Hall, looks back on the tournament and selects his best XI from the talented youngsters on show.
By Pete Hall - Follow on Twitter
Last Updated: 16/07/13 3:05pm
Team of the Tournament
Guillermo De Amores - Uruguay
Having conceded only three goals in seven games as Uruguay exceeded all expectations in reaching the Under-20 World Cup final in Istanbul, De Amores was handed the Golden Glove award in recognition of his solid performances. The Liverpool of Montevideo shot-stopper just edges out France's Alphonse Areola to secure a spot in this side, and whilst not grabbing the headlines with jaw-dropping saves, his calm and composed style sets him apart from the rest. Though De Amores is only 18 years old, he plays with a real confidence that should stand him in good stead for the future.
Guillermo Varela - Uruguay
Much was expected of David Moyes' first Manchester United signing in Turkey, and he didn't disappoint. Both Varela and fellow full-back Gianni Rodriquez stifled opponents and contributed to La Celeste's incredible defensive record. The former was especially impressive in Uruguay's impressive display against Spain in the quarter-finals, stopping the tricky Gerard Deulofeu in his tracks, frustrating him so much he had to be withdrawn. Not spectacular going forward, but as resolute as they come in defence, Varela showed the maturity that could make him popular at Old Trafford, and see him called up to the first team sooner than previously thought.
Kurt Zouma - France
Part of a France squad oozing in talent, the eventual champions have a lot to thank Zouma for as he stood strong when the strikers misfired. One of the youngest members of the squad, the 18-year-old has been a regular in the Saint-Etienne first-team fold for two seasons, and played a big part in their inaugural Coupe de la Ligue success last campaign. After missing the first two group games through injury, Zouma's return to the side coincided with notable improvement in the knock-out stages from the French, and his aerial ability proved vital in shutting out several teams en route to clinching the Under-20 crown.
Derik - Spain
It was a major shock when Spain were eliminated from the tournament after finishing the group stages with a 100% record, even beating the eventual winners France in the final group game with a weakened side. However, there was not much more centre-back Derik could do. As well as being strong in the tackle, the Real Madrid Castilla defender is very much a Mediterranean footballer, preferring to play the ball out from the back - a style that even earned him praise from Gary Neville, who said Derik's passing was "the best he had seen in years."
Ali Adnan - Iraq
Part of the fairytale story of the tournament, Ali Adnan was a key figure for Iraq as they surprised everyone by reaching the semi-finals in Turkey, finishing top of England's group in the process. The full-back has impressed so much that Turkish champions Galatasaray look set to make the 19-year-old the most high-profile player from his country of all time. Seventeen full international caps stood Ali Adnan in good stead pre-tournament, and his added experience showed on the pitch. He was a real threat going forward, as his late equaliser against a stunned England showed, and he could light up the Turk Telekom Arena should the deal with club side Baghdad FC go through.
Moses Odjer - Ghana
As Ghana surprised many by reaching the semi-finals with a string of comeback victories, 16-year-old Odjer also showed the world what he could do, and was at the heart of all that was good about the Black Satellites.
Very much the engine room of the side, Odjer covered virtually every blade of grass in each appearance he made in Turkey, and lifted his side whenever they needed rousing, showing an enthusiasm which has attracted interest from England and France. It will be a huge surprise if the youngster remains in his homeland with Tema Youth for the coming season.
Paul Pogba - France
The most obvious pick of this selection after securing the well-deserved Golden Ball award, Pogba lived up to his superstar billing by reminding Manchester United fans what they are missing, performing adroitly throughout the whole tournament, driving Les Bleuets to their first U20 title. Leading by example, under pressure from being the most famous name to participate in Turkey, the all-action midfielder took games by the scruff of the neck, and carried his side. Along with partner Geoffrey Kondogbia, he dominated the middle of the park, and will certainly be even stronger for Serie A champions Juventus as they attempt to retain the Scudetto once more.
Juan Quintero - Colombia
One of the stars of the tournament, Quintero was unfortunate to be part of a Colombia side eliminated in the last 16 by South Korea, despite coming into the tournament on the back of a brilliant team display at the Sudamericano. The magical winger lit up games with a dazzling array of skills that mesmerised opponents, and persuaded Portuguese giants Porto to part with their cash to land the 20-year old. He also had a finishing product to match, with two brilliant goals, including a last-gasp free-kick against the Koreans to force their last-16 tie to extra-time. There seems no end to what he can do.
Bruma - Portugal
Another player who came into the tournament with a big reputation was Bruma, who even prior to kick-off in Turkey was compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, and the comparisons were hard to avoid after a string of goalscoring displays. An incredible five goals and two assists in four games before Portugal were surprisingly eliminated in the last 16 put pay to any doubts the 18-year-old would buckle under the weight of expectation. And, with his wizardry on the wing, as well as the ability to cut inside to devastating effect, the talented Sporting Lisbon forward looks set for a bright future.
Nico Lopez - Uruguay
Nicknamed 'the Rabbit' due to his trickiness in and around the box, Lopez had to spearhead the Uruguay attack on his own, and his haul of four goals was pivotal to La Celeste reaching the final. Capable of conjuring a chance out of nothing, youngster Lopez has electrifying pace, and his unpredictability means that he was a serious handful for defenders throughout the tournament. He's just moved to Udinese from Roma, and with the composure on the ball he has, he certainly has the potential to be a major star for both club and country.
Jese - Spain
If Spain had progressed further than the quarter-final stage and gone on to win the tournament as many predicted, then Jese would certainly have been a challenger for the Golden Boot crown. From a wide position, the Real Madrid academy graduate glides around the pitch with ease, and his five goals in as many games are no fluke with the ability he possesses. Opting for finesse finishes rather than power, Jese makes scoring goals look effortless, and further first-team call-ups for Los Blancos may not be too far off if he continues to develop as he is currently.