Twenty-four countries participating in the U17 World Cup in Indonesia are still competing to win points for their teams in each group. Match after match was played and the potential of each player who was considered to have above average abilities began to emerge. They are called wonderkids, namely young players with extraordinary talent.
During the U-17 World Cup there were a number of players who were predicted to have bright prospects, including Barcelona’s Marc Guiu, Paul Brunner from Germany and England’s Ethan Nwaneri.
Marc Guiu tried to show his skills on the field during the first match against Canada at the Manahan Stadium in Solo last weekend. Marc Guiu was able to break through the Canadian National Team’s goal. In the second match, the Young Matador team won again against Mali with a score of 1-0. Spain leads group B with 6 points and has a big chance of qualifying for the next round, the last 16.
U17 World Cup wonderkid from Spain, Marc Guiu (red jersey), while competing at the Manahan Stadium, Solo. (Photo: U17 World Cup Pool/Doc. LOC WCU17/RKY)
Marc Guiu feels happy to be able to help his team’s struggle to win.
“In a competition like the 2023 U17 World Cup, all the matches will be very tight. The players work hard to win three points in every match,” said the player who was born on January 4 2006.
Marc Guiu is quite influential in the Spanish U17 National Team. In junior La Liga, he has scored 8 goals in 12 matches.
PSSI General Chair Erick Thohir at a press conference at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, Monday (5/6)
Not only Spain, Indonesia also has wonderkids. PSSI General Chair, Erick Thohir mentioned several talented players in the Garuda Muda team.
“There are two diaspora players, namely Weiberlieskott De Halim Jardim who plays for Sao Paulo, and Amar Brkic who plays for TSG Hoffenheim. We also have Arkhan Kaka from Solo,” said Erick.
Arkhan Kaka answered expectations by contributing a goal for the Indonesian national team in an equal score of 1-1 against Ecuador in the first match and against Panama in the second match with a score of 1-1 in the U17 World Cup at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium, Surabaya.
Arkhan is quite influential for the U-17 Indonesian National Team. From his two matches in the 2023 U-17 Asian Cup Qualification, Arkhan has contributed 6 goals.
U17 World Cup wonderkid from Indonesia, Arkhan Kaka, celebrates a goal after breaking through Panama’s goal in the Garuda Muda Team’s second match at the Gelora Bung Tomo stadium in Surabaya. (Photo: U17 World Cup Pool/ Doc. LOC WCU17/NFL)
Former coach of the Indonesian U-19 national team, Edward Tjong, Monday (13/11), when asked by VOA about the wonderkids of the Garuda Muda U17 Team, also mentioned three names.
“In the Indonesian U17 national team, I hope I’m not wrong, Arkhan Kaka, he has Captain Iqbal Gwijangge, then Welber Jardim,” said Eduard Tjong when met, Monday (13/11).
Wonderkid and World Player Legend
The U17 World Cup produced various world-class players. History records that the U17 World Cup in various countries gave birth to world football legends such as Luis Figo from Portugal who was known in 1998, Alesandro Del Piero in 1991 and Francesco Totti in 1993 – both from Italy – to Hidetoshi Nakata in 1993 from Japan. There are others, including Carlos Teves and Juan Sebastian Veron from Argentina, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torrez from Spain.
Wonderkid players are being targeted by world football talent hunters. Wonderkids have the opportunity to join a more senior league or a foreign club.
Former U19 coach, Eduard Tjong, watching the U17 World Cup match in Solo. (Photo: VOA/Yudha Satriawan)
Having experience in managing age-level national teams, Eduard Tjong also monitors the development of football, including the Indonesian U17 national team.
The former coach of the Indonesian U19 national team explained that looking for a wonderkid requires patience in honing the player’s skills. For football, added Eduard, wonderkids play an important role in maintaining team solidarity when competing.
“I observed that in the French team, position number 6, he is similar to Deschamps. His style of playing is the same. Europe’s potential wonderkid already has talent scouting. Personal value. This child, after the U17 World Cup, returned to his country, was recruited and moved up to U20 or more senior. In fact “recruited by a well-known club with a high transfer value,” said Eduard.
Eduard said that Indonesia has great potential to produce world-class wonderkids. Eduard emphasized that the tiered football curriculum system is not yet synchronized in honing players’ abilities.
“Yes, from the U17 World Cup, this is our record, the good foreign national teams have a curriculum at a young age, later playing in the senior league will be the same pattern. Latin America, Brazil for example, yes, the playing style is like that from youth to senior age. Argentina “It’s the same, Germany is like that. In Indonesia it’s difficult, different coaches or clubs have different models and playing styles,” concluded Eduard. (ys/em)