#WorldCupAtHome: Mexico's golden generation come of age

  • #WorldCupAtHome continues with Mexico-Brazil from Peru 2005

  • Tournament brought Mexico a maiden world title

  • Re-broadcast time: Friday 15 May at 20:00 CET

Mexico claimed the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time after comprehensively beating Brazil in the final of Peru 2005. The gifted Tri side, led by Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos, contained a generation of players who would go on to play a central role for the senior team in subsequent years.

The summary

Mexico 3-0 Brazil 2 October 2005 | Estadio Nacional, Lima

Goalscorers: Carlos Vela (31'), Omar Esparza (32'), Ever Guzman (86')

Line-ups: Mexico: Sergio Arias, Patricio Araujo, Efrain Juarez, Christian Sanchez, Hector Moreno (Pedro Valverde 75'), Omar Esparza, Jorge Hernandez, Giovani dos Santos (Ever Guzman 79'), Carlos Vela (Juan Carlos Silva 92'), Adrian Aldrete, Cesar Villaluz

Brazil: Felipe, Leyrielton, Sidnei, Roberto, Marcelo, Denilson (Meznga 64'), Anderson (Mauricio 16'), Igor, Ramon, Simoes (Jose Claudio 82'), Celso

The stakes

Mexico had been working hard for several years to develop its youth teams, and those efforts finally bore fruit at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Peru 2005.

El Tri’s quest for glory began in Group B, where they beat Uruguay (2-0) and Australia (3-0) before losing to Turkey (2-1) to progress as runners-up. In the knockout phase, they overcame Costa Rica in the quarter-finals (3-1) and swept aside the Netherlands (4-0) in the semis.

Aiming to spoil the party, however, were Brazil, through to the final for the fifth time in the six editions of the tournament held until then. The three-time champions had also been second in their pool (Group D) after losing to Gambia (3-1) and defeating the Netherlands (2-1) and Qatar (6-0).

In the quarters they got the better of Korea DPR in in extra time (3-1) and sealed their place in the final with a thrilling 4-3 triumph over Turkey.

The story

A lethal pair: Peru 2005 witnessed the emergence of a partnership that would become a feature of Mexican teams for many years – that of Carlos Vela and Giovani dos Santos. The latter’s craftiness caused rival defences to suffer on more than one occasion, while in the final, with Brazil struggling to keep their shape, it was Vela who popped up in the box to punish them. Mexico's first goal in the decider perfectly exemplified what the pair had been doing so well all tournament – Dos Santos slipping his markers and Vela finishing.

Strong mentality: One of the aspects Mexico worked hardest on during their preparation for the tournament was the mental side. And in the final they showed the composure and levelheadedness it takes to become champions. After opening the scoring in the decider, they were sufficiently focused to double their lead just a minute later with a long-range strike from Omar Esparza.

A worthy runner-up: Despite being two goals down, Brazil came out for the second half fiercely determined to get back in the game. Indeed, Celso had several opportunities to reduce the deficit only for Sergio Arias to stand firm in the Tri goal. Mexico would finally put the game beyond reach with a third from Ever Guzman in the dying minutes.

The star

Peru 2005 marked the start of a stellar career for Carlos Vela. Winner of the adidas Golden Boot for his five goals, he showcased the considerable technical skills that would later see him shine for teams like Arsenal and Real Sociedad.

️What they said

"Besides choosing good players, for me the most fundamental thing was that every member of the team believed in himself. And they had no reason not to. My idea from the outset was to have a long-term project with the goal of not just competing but winning." Jesus Ramirez, Mexico coach

What happened next

Mexico and Brazil continued to figure prominently at subsequent U-17 World Cups. El Tri hosted the 2011 edition and were crowned champions again, before finishing runners-up in the next edition at UAE 2013. The Verde-Amarela, meanwhile, staged the 2019 tournament, prevailing in the final against none other than Mexico.