The past
Having already cemented their status as a force in the women’s game prior to the first ever FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, held in 2008 in New Zealand, Brazil’s performance on Oceanian soil proved something of a disappointment. Back then the squad coached by Marcos Gaspar followed up 3-0 and 2-1 group-stage defeats by England and Korea Republic respectively with a 2-2 draw against Nigeria to fall at the first hurdle.

The present
Despite this less-than-impressive showing, the Brazilian coaching staff did help nurture a number of players who have since graduated to U-20 level. Charged with the same task at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010 will be current U-17 supremo Edvaldo Erlacher, who can call on players of the calibre of Paula, Glaucia and Thais. The latter youngster, a veteran of the New Zealand 2008 campaign, helped Santos to victory in the Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brasil in 2009 alongside compatriot and former youth standout Marta.

The future
On the evidence of the South American Women’s U-17 Championship in February 2010, when A Canarinha won all their games before clinching the title with a 7-0 thrashing of Chile in the final in Sao Paulo, Brazil will be confident of going far at Trinidad and Tobago 2010. “The girls knew how to make the game look easy against a very organised Chilean side,” said coach Erlacher after the final. “A success like this is very important for helping them build a solid career in the game.”

Facts and figures

Former stars
Aline, Beatriz, Francielle, Raquel. Keyplayers Paula, Glaucia, Thais.

Qualifying statistics
A Seleção won each of their 6 matches at the 2010 Sudamericano, scoring 41 goals and conceding just 3.

The numbers game
7– The number of Brazilian players monopolising the top of the scorers’ charts at the 2010 Sudamericano. Paula and Glaucia finished joint first on 7 goals apiece followed by Thais with 5. Next up were the quartet of Andressa, Beatriz, Ingrid and Jucinara, all of whom grabbed 4 goals, a feat matched by 2 players from Venezuela and 1 from Chile.