|Lucky Edosa, Lagos
With eight days to go until the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, the announcement of the final squad lists marks another important step on the road to this eagerly awaited tournament.
A total of 504 players have been called up by the 24 participating nations to follow in the footsteps of global stars such as Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and countless others who first showed the world what they could do at this event. All eyes now turn to Poland to see which members of the class of 2019 can emulate these legendary players.
“We can look forward to seeing top-class football, as the squads include names who are already performing at a very high level in some of the most competitive leagues around the world, and a few who have even played for their senior national teams. I expect a wide-open race, with plenty of teams having a real shot at reaching the latter stages, which will make the competition even more exciting,” said FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Football) Zvonimir Boban, who won the event in its former guise – the FIFA World Youth Championship – with Yugoslavia in 1987.
“Chile 1987 absolutely marked my career and I’m sure that the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 will do the same for a new generation of players. Poland will be fantastic hosts, as the Polish FA, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has been doing a tremendous job – led by its President, the football legend Zbigniew Boniek – to organise a great tournament with FIFA.”