Raw talent shines through at any age and the FIFA U-17 World Cup has been consistently blessed in that regard. The players on show in the Land of the Morning Calm may not be old enough to vote yet or drive a car, but they have at least one thing in common with their illustrious elders: a taste for the spectacular.
The most vivid proof of that has to be the goals themselves,
with 162 having been scored since the tournament began on 18
August. And who better to set the tone than three-time winners
Auriverde have also won more matches in the competition
than anyone else and they began this year's campaign with a
master class in attacking football, putting seven past New Zealand.
Their fourth in particular brought the crowd in Jeju to its feet,
as Alex controlled the ball with perfection, sidestepped two
defenders and buried an exquisite cross-shot to round off a display
of exceptional technique.
His team-mate Tales is no stranger to stunning goals either, having drawn gasps from supporters with his free kick in Brazil's third Group B game against England. From a distance of more than 30 metres and seemingly too far out on the right to cause danger, the Seleçao midfielder caught goalkeeper Alex Smithies completely off his guard to provoke memories of Ronaldinho's effort against the same opponents in the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™.
To see these goals and others of the highest quality, make sure
to feast on
FIFA.com's exclusive video collection. There
you will be able to watch the ten finest strikes of the tournament
and vote for your favourite, whether it be the thunderous
half-volley from Togo's Lalawele Otakora against Korea
Republic, or Yoichiro Kakitani's audacious long-range effort
from the centre circle for Japan against France.
Germany's Dennis Dowidat has the unique honour of appearing twice in the list, and you will be able to decide whether he deserves the final distinction for his excellent touch and precision against Colombia in the group stage or against England in the quarter-finals.
Add in the gems scored by Ghana's Ransford Osei, Nigeria's Yakubu Alfa, Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev of Tajikistan and Colombia's Cristian Nazarith, and you will begin to see the difficulty of the mission that awaits you: namely, voting for the most spectacular goal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007.