Stage set for FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015

The stage is now well and truly set for what is sure to be one of the most thrilling sporting competitions NZ has ever seen.

All finalists for the FIFA U-20 World Cup have now qualified and Nigeria – crowned champions of the African qualifying stages - Ghana, Senegal and Mali will join the likes of Germany, Argentina and the USA in the fiesta of FIFA football taking place across New Zealand from 30 May – 20 June, 2015.

Colourful match ups

The opening match for Brazil is sure to be a fiery one with the flamboyant South Americans taking on colourful Nigeria in the North Island host city of New Plymouth. The Brazilians will be chasing their sixth FIFA U-20 title.

Mali will play their group matches in the sport-loving, South Island city of Dunedin and agricultural centre Hamilton with Mexico, Serbia and Uruguay in their group. Ghana will play in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington against Argentina, Panama and Austria. Senegal will play in Hamilton against Qatar, Colombia and Portugal.

With 24 international teams, playing 52 games, in seven host cities across the North and South islands, New Zealand is gearing up to showcase the beautiful game and one of the world’s most breath-taking countries.

With games taking place in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington in the North Island and Christchurch and Dunedin in the South, off the pitch the FIFA U-20 World Cup gives visitors the chance to explore the easily accessible and diverse landscapes of New Zealand.

International stars born

But the action doesn’t stop there. On the pitch, fans have the chance to watch some of the most exciting emerging talent of the world game come of age right in front of their eyes.

In past competitions the likes of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Brazilian legend Ronaldinho have come to the forefront during the FIFA U-20 World Cup – and, in 2015 a host of new stars will undoubtedly be discovered.

Argentina’s whizz-kid Giovanni Simeone – son of Diego Simeone, the infamous player and current manager of Athletico Madrid – is one to watch as this predatory striker is sure to have fans on the edge of their seats.

Like most Brazilian legends – who are only known by one name – Malcom is tipped to shine at the FIFA U-20 World Cup with mouth-watering goals the only thing on this forward’s mind.

And following hot on the heels of Uruguay’s Luiz Suarez is Rodrigo Amaral, an attacking midfielder who likes to wow the crowd with his theatrical 360 turns and brilliant runs to the box.  FIFA U-20 World Cup hosts New Zealand also have some stars-to-be to watch out for with Alex Rufer - the nephew of New Zealand football legend Winton Rufer - a real prospect to play. 

About the FIFA U-20 World Cup

Watched by an estimated 200 million people in 100 countries around the world, the FIFA U-20 Football World Cup is the second biggest FIFA football tournament.

The tournament kicks off in Auckland, New Zealand on 30 May and runs until 20 June.

For further information and tickets please visit: FIFA U-20 World Cup

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