Academy goalkeepers Hegyi and Jinadu earn World Cup call-ups

Krisztian Hegyi


The Academy of Football will have two representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Brazil when it kicks-off on Saturday 26 October.

West Ham United U18s goalkeepers Krisztian Hegyi of Hungary and Daniel Jinadu of Nigeria will both be heading to South America to take part in the prestigious tournament for their respective nations.

Not only that, but the two youngsters face the very real prospect of lining-up against one another, with Hungary and Nigeria both being drawn in Group B. The two sides will meet on the opening day of the competition in Goiânia, before matches against Australia and Ecuador round-off the group stage.

To be asked play in a World Cup is a big thing for any player. It’s a chance for them to showcase their skills.

Xavi Valero

First-team Goalkeeping Coaching Xavi Valero insists the tournament will be an excellent experience for both of the young keepers.

“It’s great news that two of our Academy players will be taking part in the U17s World Cup,” said Valero. “Tournaments like these are a big part of their development as goalkeepers.

“To be asked play in a World Cup is a big thing for any player. It’s a chance for them to showcase their skills.”

Valero is hopeful that both goalkeepers will start when they meet next Saturday.

“Krisztian  is the regular No1 for Hungary, and Daniel has been selected as one of three goalkeepers for Nigeria," he observed. “I think Daniel has a chance to start for Nigeria, especially in the first game of the group against Hungary. That will be the Krisztian Hegyi vs Daniel Jinadu game and if that happens, it’ll be great news for the Academy and for the Club.”


Daniel Jinadu


Both youngsters have enjoyed a positive start to the season, splitting playing time for the U18s, whilst regularly travelling to games with the U23s.

Hegyi has settled into life in east London well since joining the Hammers back in March and the 17-year-old is looking forward to the unique experience of competing against a current teammate in Brazil.

“It will be really fun coming up against Daniel,” he said. “We are so used to being on the same team. I wish him the best of luck, but I hope that we will be able to win!”

Progressing from the competitive Group B will be the aim for both players, but Hegyi anticipates three tough games for his Hungary side.

“We have quite a difficult group so we will need to play well, but I am really looking forward to it. Before the World Cup starts, we have had ten days where we can prepare and put in lots of hard work. The training will be difficult, but I think it’ll be a great occasion.”

Saturday's tie kicks-off at 9pm UK time and you can track the progress of both Hegyi and Jinadu at the U17 World Cup here on


Sheff U ticket exchange