After a busy week of senior internationals, the 2013 U-17 World Cup has gotten underway on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates. Croatia’s campaign begins Friday at 8:45 AM ET against Morocco. The youngsters have received a favorable draw, with Panama and Uzbekistan joining them to make up Group C. It is just the second appearance for Croatia in the tournament.
Croatia will have high hopes for the tournament as they have sent “wonder-kid” Alan Halilović to the tournament. In addition to Halilovic, other key players include Fran Bodić, who became Dinamo Zagreb’s youngest debutant in the spring at age 16, and goalie Marko Marić. The squad consists of 21 players: ten from Dinamo, five from Hajduk, and the other six are scattered throughout Europe.