The excitement is palpable: in a matter of hours the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009 in Nigeria kicks off and the stars of tomorrow are preparing to showcase their skills on the global stage.
The tournament itself is looking sure to be very evenly matched affair, so high drama and tension are guaranteed. Teams from every corner of the world will be aiming for title glory, but according to the latest FIFA.com poll there is a clear favourite among the fans.
South American giants
We wanted to know which confederation you thought had the best chance of emerging from the West African showdown victorious. Four of the six options available each ended up with over 20 per cent of the vote, with CONMEBOL (25.72 per cent) pipping UEFA (24.54 per cent) to top spot. CONCACAF (22.66 per cent) and CAF (20.74 per cent) were not far behind, while the AFC (5.59 per cent) and OFC (0.75 per cent) trailed by some distance in fifth and sixth place respectively.
South America, thanks in no small part to perennial superpowers Brazil and Argentina, is therefore the hot favourite to provide this year's winner at Nigeria 2009. The Europeans are also expected to fare well, particularly with the likes of Germany entering the tournament on the back of their UEFA U-17 European Championship success over the summer. The North, Central American and Caribbean confederation is also well represented with the likes of Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and Honduras all in with a chance of progressing in the competition.
Africa should not be overlooked either, with a quarter of our users tipping a CAF nation to go all the way. Indeed, Africa boasts the defending champions in the form of Nigeria, who will of course also enjoy the backing of a passionate home crowd.
Stay up-to-date with all the action from Nigeria 2009 on FIFA.com! There will be exclusive interviews, features, previews, match reports and reviews as well as all the latest photos and videos from all the matches.