With the tournament now just one week away, another FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 milestone has been reached with confirmation of all 16 squads. Every one of the teams have now finalised their 21-player pools, leaving 336 young women to prepare excitedly for the football experience of a lifetime.
While Japan show just one survivor from their triumphant 2014 campaign, Venezuela – who made a shock run to the semi-finals in Costa Rica - welcome back no fewer than eight members of that impressive squad. The most prominent of those is star striker Deyna Castellanos, who scored six times last time out, earning her the adidas Golden Boot - all at the age of just 14. Having helped fire the Venezuelans to the South American title earlier this year, expect the Florida-based forward to once again make a big impact on the world stage.
Other players to look out for include USA’s skilful and free-scoring winger, Ashley Sanchez, and Vanessa Ziegler, Lorena Navarro and Alessia Russo – top scorers for European trio Germany, Spain and England respectively during the qualifiers.
Naturally, everyone who made the cut will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of senior stars such as Dzenifer Marozsan, Mana Iwabuchi, Crystal Dunn and Griedge Mbock Bathy, all of whom made their first impression on the world stage at this tournament. Jordan 2016 will also be the first FIFA women’s competition to take place in the Middle East and, as well as unveiling the next generation of world-class talent, will play a significant role in furthering women’s football in the region.
Be sure to keep an eye on FIFA.com for all the latest news, photos and video as these youngsters and their teams seek to conquer the world in Jordan.