Henry, Torres, Rooney… Afobe
May 18, 2010
Forget the Cesc to Barca chit chat, it’s bored me senseless already.
Today will see the U17 European Championship Finals kick-off in Liechtenstein, and England have a great chance of winning the title for the first time in their history.
More importantly for us gooners, Chuke Aneke and Benik Afobe are in the squad, with Afobe a cast iron certainty to start games.
Afobe has a magnificent record for England, at U16 level he scored 4 goals in 3 games, and since stepping up to the U17s last year he has scored a remarkable 10 in 18 games.
This tournament is taken very seriously by all the participants and gives future greats a tremendous platform to build upon.
Previously the tournament was the U16 European Champs but was changed to U17 level in 2002, with a new award named the Golden Player Award handed out the to the exceptional player of the Championships since then, some current greats you may have heard of winning the trinket.
The first winner, in 2002, was Wayne Rooney, with our own Cesc Fabregras winning the award in 2004.
Thierry Henry was joint top scorer in the 1993 edition of the U16 tournament.
Torres and David Villa were the stars of the 2001 Championships held in England, also the last time it was known as the U16 European Championships.
The Liverpool marksman was top scorer with 7 goals that helped Spain to the title, scoring the winning goal against France in the final.
A whole host of current stars have played and shone in this tournament over the years, and those of us in the know about the prodigious talents of Benik Afobe, cannot wait for him to be unleashed on a higher stage this coming month.
Barcelona tried their best to lure him over to Spain earlier this year, thankfully he did not succumb to such pressure and eventually signed professional terms with Arsenal.
We have a proper player on our hands.
Catch Afobe and England taking on the Czech Republic tonight in their opening game of Group B, kick-off 7.30pm (BST)
Eurosport will be screening the tournament live for those with access to it in Europe.