FIFA’s youth tournaments provide a glimpse of the game’s best burgeoning talent, and only one nation has been represented in the last four of this year’s U-20 and U-17 World Cups.

It is not a South American superpower, nor a European giant, but Mali, who are currently thrilling fans in Chile just a few months after winning hearts in New Zealand.

This image shows Amadou Haidara, a picture of concentration and flawless technique, going for goal against Croatia in yesterday’s quarter-final. And while Mali were thwarted by the goalkeeper on this occasion, they prevailed again and could yet cap a momentous year by becoming world champions for the first time.