Brazil’s FIFA U-17 World Cup record speaks for itself. Finalists 14 times in 15 attempts, a record only USA can match, A Canarinha have won the competition on three occasions (1997, 1999 and 2003), second only to Nigeria’s haul of four tournament wins. The Brazilians have also finished runners-up twice, in 1995 and 2005, and took third place in 1985.
The mighty Brazilians did not have things all their own way in Group A of the South American U-17 Championship. After kicking off with a win over Colombia and a draw with Paraguay, they went down to Venezuela, and though they recovered with a handsome defeat of Peru, they had to be content with second place in the section. A second loss of the competition followed against Argentina in the opening match of the final six-team round. Then came three consecutive narrow wins against Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay, a run that was good enough to secure an 11th continental title for the Brazilians, though Colombia spoiled the party somewhat by inflicting another defeat on them in their final outing.
While Brazil racked up the second-highest goal tally at the South American finals with 18, scoring in seven of their nine games, they also conceded 14, the second-worst defensive record of the four qualifiers from the CONMEBOL Zone. Coach Caio Zanardi will most likely be addressing Brazil’s defensive set-up in the countdown to Chile 2015, though he was pleased, nevertheless, with this side’s efforts in Paraguay. “I’m delighted with how we won the title and with the commitment of the players. We played an attacking game and conceded more goals as a result of that, though overall I’m a happy man.”