One of Manchester United’s hottest new players has been making headlines for all the right reasons.
Belgium-born Adnan Januzaj is one of the club’s rising stars, scoring two goals on his professional debut. Having been groomed in their Academy, Januzaj has put his years of practice into good use .
He has been selected to represent Belgium in the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup. The Manchester United youngster only declared his intention to represent the country in April, but went straight into the 24-man squad for Brazil – a fitting achievement for a player so clearly on the path to glory.
Playing their first game against Algeria at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Belgium are firm favorites to progress from Group H at the FIFA World Cup.
However, Januzaj is no stranger to Belo Horizonte. Indeed, it was here that he got a taste of competing against top international squads at an elite level.
Adnan Januzaj participated in the prestigious U17 Future Champions International in 2011, which was hosted by the Prefeitura of Belo Horizonte in Brazil. Playing for Manchester United, Januzaj had the opportunity of competing against some of the world’s best youth teams and players in a tournament that has become one of the biggest U17 club events on the global football calendar.
Top teams from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa vie for an invitation to compete, in the hope of battling it out for the title of Future Champions during the weeklong tournament.
It provided Belo Horizonte and Minas Gerais with the opportunity of testing its capacity for hosting international events of such magnitude ahead of the FIFA World Cup, showcasing their infrastructure, hospitality and rich cultural heritage.
Although he didn’t take his team to victory in 2011, Januzaj no doubt hopes to beat the Brazilians on their home turf this time round.