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Iheanacho, Lopes and Nwakali out for U20 World Cup glory

The tournament which helped to launch the career of Sergio Aguero gets under way on Saturday.

The FIFA U20 World Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious youth competitions and City will have three representatives vying for the title over the next month.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Chidibere Nwakali will be flying the flag for Nigeria, while Marcos Lopes will be competing for Portugal in New Zealand.

Nigeria have been drawn into Group E alongside holders Brazil, North Korea and Hungary.

The “Flying Eagles” begin their quest for a first u20 World Cup title with one of the showpiece matches of the group stages, against 2011 champions Brazil on Monday.

Iheanacho, who has scored six goals in his last seven games for City’s youth teams, is one of those in the Nigeria squad with experience of winning a major international tournament with his nation.

The City striker was named Player of the Tournament, scoring six goals in the u17 World Cup which Nigeria won for a record sixth time in 2013.

Nwakali is likely to be a less well-known name to supporters as the midfielder is six months into a two and a half year loan spell at Malaga.

As for Rony Lopes, the 19-year old will be hoping to demonstrate the fine form he showed on loan at Lille OSC in international colours.

Portugal, who have won the competition twice before, have been drawn into Group C along with Qatar, Colombia and Senegal.

They get their competition started in Hamilton on Sunday where Senegal provide the opposition.

The likes of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Andres Iniesta and Thierry Henry have all come to prominence in the tournament's glorious history.

Aguero won the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball at the u20 World Cup in 2007 as Argentina triumphed for the sixth time.

Fernandinho won the competition with Brazil in 2003, scoring the winning goal in the final against Spain in Abu Dhabi.

Portugal were victorious at the u20 World Cup in 1989 and 1991, while Nigeria were runners-up in 1989 and 2005.

Nigeria fixtures – all times BST

Nigeria v Brazil 01/06/15 02:00

Nigeria v Korea DPR 04/06/15 05:00

Nigeria v Hungary 07/06/15 06:00

Portugal fixtures

Portugal v Senegal 31/05/15 05:00

Portugal v Qatar 03/06/15 05:00

Portugal v Colombia 06/06/15 02:00

We’ll keep you up to date with how our young starlets perform in New Zealand here on mcfc.co.uk.

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