- Associated Press - Thursday, May 28, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - If you’re trying to pick a winner in the Under-20 World Cup, you may not need to look much further than Latin America.

Argentina has won it six times. Brazil has won five, the last in 2011. The two countries have also been runners-up four times.

France won the most recent tournament in 2013, but only after beating Uruguay in a penalty shootout.

Latin American teams overwhelmed the event at one stage, winning seven of the eight tournaments from 1993 to 2007. Spain, with future Barcelona star Xavi leading the way in 1999, was the only non-Latin American winner in that long stretch.

Argentina won its last title in 2007 with a team featuring current stars like Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Angel Di Maria of Manchester United. But since that triumph, Argentina failed to qualify in 2009 and 2013, a relative slump by the country’s standards.

Most Argentine attention this time will focus on Angel Correa and Giovanni Simeone.

Forward Correa signed last year with Atletico Madrid and already is being compared with Aguero or Carlos Tevez of Juventus.

Simeone is a striker with Argentine club River Plate. He is the son of Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid coach and a former Argentine international. The younger Simeone was born in Spain but has chosen to play internationally for Argentina.

The Brazil squad features Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira, who was voted Manchester United’s under-21 player of the year this season. Born in Belgium, he could play for either Brazil or Belgium but has said his “heart” is Brazilian.

Eight of the 24 teams in the tournament are from the Americas, providing a wide showcase for up-and-coming stars.

Colombian midfielder Andres Tello, playing on loan with Juventus, could be among those to leave a big impression.

Another young player who has already broken through with a big club is Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem, who plays for the United States.

He was born in Germany to Ethiopian parents and has elected to play for the U.S. after gaining citizenship last year. He attended high school in the United States before going to Arsenal’s youth academy in England.

The other teams from the America’s include Uruguay, Panama, Mexico and Honduras.

Uruguay forward Rodrigo Amaral, who plays for Club Nacional de Futbol, is almost certain to be scouted by large European teams.

The tournament kicks off Saturday with four matches. One features an all-Latin American showdown with Argentina against Panama in Group B at Wellington.

Brazil opens against Nigeria on June 1 in a Group C match at New Plymouth.

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