Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tim Vickery in South America

The season kicks off on my side of the Atlantic this weekend with one of the great hidden gems of the footballing calendar - the South American under-20 Championship.

Back in 1954, when it was first held, this was an out-and-out youth competition. It is stretching the point to say the same thing today. In contemporary South American football there are teenagers taking on senior roles with their club sides. This year's main attraction is Neymar, who, like Adriano in the 2001 tournament, is going to the under-20 Championship having already represented Brazil at senior level. Carlos Tevez was already a Boca Juniors idol when he played for Argentina in the 2003 tournament.

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