Australia 1993: Brazil make it three
Brazil became the first team to win three FIFA World Youth Championship titles after their triumphs in 1983 and 1985. In doing so they also brought the trophy back to South America for the first time since 1985. The Auriverde grew in confidence with each passing game in Australia: a draw against the Saudis in their opener was followed by a laborious win over Mexico, before they began to truly turn on the style against Norway in their last group match. The Seleçao then ran rampant against the USA in the quarters with attacking trio Adriano, Marcelinho and Gian in sparkling form, before letting the hosts run out of steam in the semi-final in Melbourne and netting twice in the closing minutes (2-0). Against Ghana in a very open Final, the Brazilian youngsters put in a gutsy display to come back from a goal down to clinch a deserved win at the death (2-1).
Four teams from four different continents had appeared in the semi-finals only once before, in 1989. This time around it was Australia, Brazil, Ghana and England who comprised the final quartet, each producing their own blend of highly entertaining football along the way. Most observers agree that this clash of styles and an overall desire to attack made this competition one of the most memorable of all FIFA tournaments - at any level.
Ghana became only the second African side to reach a FIFA World Youth Championship Final after Nigeria in 1989, catching many teams on the hop with their lightning changes of pace. In fact, nine of the 22 players in the "Black Satellites'" squad had lifted the FIFA U-17 World Championship two years earlier, so their performance could only really be considered a half-surprise. Still they were a joy to watch: enterprising and unpredictable.
Player of the Tournament:
This Brazilian side was very much a tightly knit team. If you had to pick out the most important member of their side, though, it would have to be Adriano. Signed by Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax before the competition began, Adriano's influence grew with each game. Difficult to pin down to one position, he was neither a front-man nor a playmaker, but a real livewire wherever he popped up on the park. Blessed with glorious vision, an eye for goal and intricate ball control, Adriano wreaked havoc in opposition defences. His goal in the quarter-final propelled his side into the next round and it was his sweet pass to Marcelinho in the semis that put the Auriverde into the Final. After a brief spell in Europe, Adriano returned home to Brazil where he enjoyed terms with Juventude, Botafogo, America Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo FC.
Kevin Muscat (AUS), Adriano (BRA), Dida (BRA), Marcelinho (BRA), Marc-Vivien Foe (CMR), Rigobert Song (CMR), Nick Barmby (ENG), Dietmar Hamann (GER), Carsten Jancker (GER), Carsten Ramelow (GER), Vladimir Beschatnykh (RUS), Fabian O'Neil (URU), ...
Australia 1993 stats:
82 (av: 2.56)
Brazil and Ghana, 11 goals
- Henry Zambrano (COL), Vicente Nieto (MEX), Chris Faklaris (USA) 3 goals
Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
478,003 (Final: 40,015)
Brazil were the first team to win three FIFA World Youth Championship titles.