Some of football’s greatest prospects will take to South Africa later this week for the Cape Town International Challenge, featuring some of the world’s best Under 20 sides from Africa and South America, including Brazil.
The tournament will be held in South Africa and the Amajita, as the South African under-20 is known, wlil play host to Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya and Japan. Brazil currently hold the FIFA Under 20 World Cup crown and fellow competitors Nigeria are the holders of the African Youth Championship.
Egypt was selected to compete but withdrew after riots and massacres in their country forced the decision. Kenya replaced them amongst the eight nations.
The tournament kicks off on 24th May and will last until 3rd June at the Athlone and Cape Town stadiums.
The tournament will focus on promoting the legacy that the country has left after hosting the 2010 World Cup.
Although still Under-20, Neymar will not feature int he tournament. But a spokesperson from the South African FA has said “Even if Neymar does not come, there will still be good players on display. We will see the names in this tournament cropping up in the Brazil 2014 World Cup,”
Former South African U20 international Shaun Haschick is positive about Amajita’s chances of progressing in the tournament due to the professional experience of the players.
“They are contracted full-time at various professional clubs in the country’s top tier – the Premier Soccer League (PSL). This is a sure sign that national teams have improved over the years.”
He added “The 2010 Fifa World Cup gave the local game a major boost and it is evident in the amount of young players in the PSL.”
Brazil named their squad today for the tournament.
Brazil Under-20 squad for the Cape Town International Soccer Challenge
Goalkeepers: Matheus Caldeira (Corinthians), Igor Rayan (Cruzeiro)
Wingbacks: Fabinho (Fluminense), Romário (Vitória), Henrique Miranda (São Paulo)
Centrebacks: Luiz Gustavo (Palmeiras), Luan (Vasco), Wellington Carvalho (Fluminense)
Midfielders: Gomes (Corinthians), Filipe (Bahia), Misael (Grêmio), Diego Souza (Palmeiras), Bruno Dybal (Palmeiras), Deretti (Figueirense), Thomas Jaguaribe Bedinelli (Flamengo)
Forwards: Victor Andrade (Santos), Bruno Mendes (Guarani), Ademilson (São Paulo)