The U17 Football World Cup will take place in Indonesia from November 10th to December 2nd. Before the opening, Cyril Drawilo picked up a pen to talk about his experiences. Six years ago, the attacking midfielder, now with AS Magenta, was among the Cagous who took part in the competition in India. This year a new generation will take part. Editorial.
“Experiencing a World Cup is a childhood dream. A dream that every football fan would like to realize. I was lucky enough to have experienced it and today I would like to share my experience with you. It is the flagship competition of this sport in which we face the future stars of the planet. It brings together players who will one day win the most prestigious individual awards such as the Ballon d'Or or be the subject of the biggest transfers.
In India, every day was a fairy tale. Moments when you have butterflies in your stomach and eyes full of stars. A world of its own: being accompanied on every excursion, smelling the scent of luxurious five-star hotels and experiencing the everyday life of professional players. It means adhering to a clearly defined schedule, respecting a schedule, and following care protocols closely.
On game days, the adrenaline was pumping every moment of the day. We could feel behind everyone's smiles, everyone's looks, everyone's silence, everyone's stress. On the way to the stadium the atmosphere became quieter. It was simply the calm before the storm. All this pressure came back at the moment the referee kicked off. The screams of thousands of spectators amplified all these emotions. The games were very difficult to play. Impressive passing and finishing qualities, liveliness in the supports and incredible precision in the technical movements. These are confrontations where we can quickly assess the difference in level between the two teams.
Our only draw against Japan is certainly my fondest memory. A final confrontation was physically and psychologically complicated. Due to the sequence of training sessions, the difficulty of the competition and the muscle pain, we felt exhausted. But we were proud to show the whole world our identity and our personality. We experienced high-intensity games against players who were already at their best. I particularly remember the French team with Amine Gouiri, Aurelien Tchouameni and Maxence Caqueret. Important elements are currently their professional clubs in Rennes, Real Madrid and Lyon.
I won't forget that famous goal by Cameron Wadrenges against the Blues and the extraordinary save by our goalkeeper Unë Kecine. Two actions that will remain historic and symbolic. With the win against Japan, the first participation in a World Cup was concluded with one point. Most importantly, we came home with our heads held high.”
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