The Tournament


Smiling and beguiling, Nigeria's Golden Eaglets will be remembered in the UAE for much more than their thrilling football. Smiling and beguiling, Nigeria's Golden Eaglets will be remembered in the UAE for much more than their thrilling football. 

The climax of the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 was another premium-quality affair in a worthy and pulsating setting. Nigeria snuffed out Mexican dreams of defending the trophy and comfortably sealed a fourth world triumph at this age level. Roared on by their boisterous supporters and inspired by player of the tournament Kelechi Iheanacho, the Golden Eaglets imposed their class for a merited and totally convincing victory. 

The final day opened with the match for third place between Sweden and Argentina. And after 90 absorbing minutes, it was the Scandinavians who were left celebrating. The Swedes crowned their maiden appearance at the tournament by building on a string of increasingly convincing performances in the UAE, deservedly winning a fast-paced and high-scoring match against their South American opponents.

The Results:

Match for third place: Sweden 4-1 Argentina

Final: Nigeria 3-0 Mexico

* Article courtesy of

You can read much more on how the tournament unfolded on's dedicated tournament section

Youthful Exuberance

Nigeria played to win, but with a joyfulness that fans found infectious.

We hope to make them a force to reckon with.

Manu Garba,

Nigeria coach


adidas Awards

Individually brilliant and collectively formidable, champions Nigeria proved an unstoppable force at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 and their dominance was underlined when the time came to recognise the tournament's leading performers.

adidas awards for outstanding performers have become an integral part of all FIFA tournaments. They also carry extra weight at competitions reserved for younger players as indicators of huge potential in these young stars of the future.

adidas Golden Ball Award: Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)

The rampaging midfielder tormented every defence he came up against and made the most stunning of entrances by helping himself to four goals against Mexico in his side's group opener. The poacher then showed he could provide too, laying on no fewer than seven assists for his team-mates, all this while taking his personal goal tally to six, enough to secure him the adidas Silver Boot as the competition's second-highest goalscorer. In total, he had a direct hand in exactly half of the 26 goals the Golden Eaglets scored in the UAE. 

adidas Silver Ball Award: Nathan (Brazil)
adidas Bronze Ball Award: Ivan Ochoa (Mexico)

adidas Golden Boot Award: Valmir Berisha (Sweden)

The Albanian-born Swedish striker is an out-and-out penalty box predator, ready to pounce at any stage of the game, as he proved in grabbing a hat-trick in the match for third place against Argentina. As well as ensuring that the tournament newcomers finished on the podium, that treble took the skilful yet deadly Berisha's goal tally to seven, putting him top of the UAE 2013 scoring charts.

adidas Silver Boot Award: Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria)
adidas Bronze Boot Award: Boschilia (Brazil)

adidas Golden Glove Award: Dele Alampasu (Nigeria)

It is just as well for such a resolutely attack-minded side as Nigeria that they can count on someone like Alampasu between the posts. The giant custodian had an outstanding three weeks and showed his many qualities in an impeccable display in the final. Dealing calmly with everything the Mexicans had to throw at him, the impressive shot-stopper used his height to cut out crosses and his agility to pull off a series of sharp saves.

FIFA Fair Play Award: Nigeria

The FIFA Fair Play Award, reserved for the team best exemplifying the values of sportsmanship both on and off the field as decided by a jury comprising members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), went to Nigeria. The champions were rightly recognised for their sportsmanship and infectious approach to the game. Their enthusiastic goal celebrations, complete with pumping arms and index fingers pointing skywards, caught the imagination of everyone and were even copied by Sweden's players.

Breathtaking Development

Since its foundation in 1971, the United Arab Emirates has exploded into one of the planet's most important business and leisure destinations.

And, although the history of the region is intertwined with oil and the petro-chemical industry, the determination of the fledgling country's rulers to safeguard a future non reliant upon finite natural resources has led to breathtaking growth and development.

The UAE is now unquestionably one of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations, complete with unbeatable shopping, an extraordinary variety of truly luxurious hotels and restaurants, a fascinating traditional culture, and a safe and welcoming environment.

Emirati people have a great sense of respect for their religion and traditions, their rulers, their land and each other. Emiratis are well known for their generosity and hospitality to their guests, an attribute that is inherited from their forefathers who inhabited the desert. 

The major influence of Islam is clearly reflected throughout the Emirati lifestyle, while the demographic make-up of the region remains extremely diverse – in 2010, the UAE population was estimated at 8,264,070, of whom only 13% were UAE nationals or Emiratis.

Full name:Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah –  United Arab Emirates
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Population: 8,264,070 (2010 estimate)
Languages: Arabic, English
Religion: Islam
Type of government: federal, presidential, absolute monarchy  
President: His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Prime Minister: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
GDP: USD 271.316 trillion
Major exports: petroleum and natural gas, finance, tourism and construction sectors
Climate: generally hot and dry. The hottest months are July and August, when average maximum temperatures reach above 40°C (104°F) on the coastal plain, and average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14°C (50 and 57.2°F).
Total area: 82,880km2
Highest point: Jebel Aljas (1,739m)
Neighbouring seas and oceans: Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman

  • 8,264,070

    UAE population

Respect and Vision

The UAE has successfully embraced 21st century modernity while retaining the touchstones of its religion and culture. 

Football in the UAE

The football-mad United Arab Emirates became a FIFA member in 1974 – three years following the formation of the United Arab Emirates Football Association – and the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2013 was the fifth FIFA competition to be hosted in the region following the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2003, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009 and the FIFA Club World Cup in both 2009 and 2010. 

Moreover, the UAE hosted the AFC Asian Cup in 1996 as well as the Gulf Cup of Nations in 1982, 1994 and 2007.

The UAE has also become a popular destination for European teams looking to escape the winter weather and train in warmer climes and state-of-the-art facilities.

Sporting Utopia

Football apart, the UAE has quickly become established as a hub of sporting excellence and something of a magnet to sports fans the world over. Every year, the UAE draws enthusiasts to globally recognised events, including F1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the culmination of the European PGA Golf tour, ATP Masters Tennis, F1 World Championship Powerboating, world-class international rugby, cricket and basketball tournaments … not to mention the world's most valuable horse race (Dubai World Cup) and the Dubai Open Chess Championship.