For the last 28 years, teams from across the globe have jostled for supremacy at the biannual FIFA U-17 World Cup. The prestigious tournament began in 1985 in China PR, where Nigeria beat Germany FR to the title with a 2-0 victory.

The 13 competitions since have produced seven world champions. Soviet Union (1987), Saudi Arabia (1989), France (2001) and Switzerland (2009) have each triumphed once, while four nations have lifted the trophy several times. Nigeria (1985, 1993, 2007) and Brazil (1997, 1999, 2003) have been the most regular victors, followed by Ghana (1991, 1995) and current holders Mexico (2005, 2011), who won as hosts two years ago.

On Thursday the U-17 World Cup gets underway, with 24 teams eying El Tri’s crown. Brazil will kick off the festivities, which run from 17 October to 8 November, against debutants Slovakia in Abu Dhabi, before hosts UAE start their campaign at the same venue against Honduras.

Who will be the team to beat this time? Can Nigeria or Brazil edge ahead in the all-time winners list? Or can one of the five newcomers (Iraq, Slovakia, Sweden, Venezuela and Morocco) follow Switzerland’s example of 2009 and go all the way in their maiden participation at the tournament? wants to know your opinion: Who will win the U-17 World Cup?

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