The speculation surrounding the strength of the participating teams at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 is finally over. All 24 finalists have now played their first matches, producing plenty of surprises and spectacular results. Moreover, we have already had some incredible long-range strikes and late, late goals to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Over the past week, we have been asking you in the 'Have your say' discussion forum who your favourites are to win the title in Egypt. There has been lively discussion among users in all five FIFA languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic and German), with plenty of healthy debate.
Despite the wealth of opinion, Brazil and Spain have emerged as the two most-fancied teams, due in no small part to their impressive opening-day victories over Costa Rica (5-0) and Tahiti (8-0) respectively. "I think Brazil and Spain are favourites for the title. It's not just the senior teams from these two countries who are in excellent shape - the youth set-ups are as well. There might still be the odd surprise as the Black Starlets proved, and I would be more than happy for the Africans if that were the case," said Slovensko (Switzerland).
Gerson was of a similar opinion. "It could be Spain or Brazil - maybe even one of the African teams as they're very strong at this level." Plenty of other users around the world shared the view of this particular user from Costa Rica that a team from the host continent could well end up as U-20 champions. "An African team: don't underestimate home advantage," said Scheibuh (Germany).
"Ghana will win the tournament," predicted a confident Xander-USA. "Their current team are full of promising players who are ready to take on the world." The Black Satellites and Nigeria werer two other sides that gleaned a lot of support. "I hope Ghana win the title. I saw them against Uzbekistan and they were playing a swift, attacking style of football. I hope that they don't neglect their defence with all this attacking football though," said nanyukiborn (Sweden).
"There are definitely plenty of teams who could win the World Cup, including Brazil, Nigeria, Spain and, of course, the hosts Egypt," said a diplomatic ahmedapody (Egypt), while samavar51 (USA) stated more categorically: "It's time for an African team to win the title."
On 16 October at around 22:00 we will finally know who takes up the mantle from Argentina, winners of the last two editions, and becomes the new FIFA U-20 World Cup winners.
Follow all of the action from the rest of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009 and chat with thousands of other users about how you think the tournament in Egypt will pan out. Write in with your comments, keeping them clean, on-topic and respectful. We look forward to hearing from you!