Since the first ever World Cup tournament took place in Uruguay in 1930, aspiring young players have always been drawn by its magic and glory. After four long years of waiting, this year will be no different as young players from 32 countries will be competing in the biggest football event in the world. So with that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the young talent that will be featured at this year’s World Cup.
The 18-year-old Paris St. Germain and French national team forward has already conquered the hearts of French football fans with his performances in Ligue 1. Mbappe is the kind of striker who not only scores magnificent goals but is also able to rescue games from dead situations. PSG paid over €175 million (14 billion INR) to sign him from AS Monaco, where the youngster scored 6 goals in last season’s Champions League, to guide the club to the semi-finals. Mbappe has become the world’s most expensive teenage player in football history.
One of the best teenage forwards to play in England, the England international and Manchester United striker is gifted with lightning-quick pace, and an eye for goal. Although Jose Mourinho is not known to promote young players, pairing the youngster up front with Romelu Lukaku has paid off. Having also been recently called up to the senior team from the Under-21s demonstrates the trust and belief that manager Gareth Southgate has in the young forward. Rashford is expected to be part of the England team this summer in Russia, with many interested to see how the Man Utd starlet will perform on the biggest stage of all.
Acquired by Monaco for €25 million (2.1 billion INR), from Belgian side Anderlecht, the young midfielder has been constantly on the rise. The young Belgian made his debut for Anderlecht at only 16 years of age, and became the third youngest player to play in the Champions League. By age 19, Tielemans had already made a name for himself with 185 appearances for Anderlecht with 35 goals and 31 assists, before being snapped up by Monaco. He has been a key player for Monaco and is the regular penalty taker for his country’s national team. Expect him to shine at this year’s World Cup.
The young Spurs midfielder was called the best player in the world in his age group by Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. As an 18-year-old, he dominated the midfield for Championship side MK Dons, and is best remembered for his performance during the club’s 4-0 League Cup win over Manchester United. Even before turning 22, Alli had racked up 34 Premier League goals and 25 assists for Spurs. If he continues this form, England may have a chance to progress far at this year’s World Cup.
This season has been a successful one for Spurs who are currently in fourth place behind Manchester United and ahead of rivals Chelsea. Their next game will in fact be against Chelsea with football betting website bwin giving Chelsea 2.20 odds over Spurs at 3.20.
Although 5 points ahead of Chelsea, Tottenham’s head-to-head performance against Conte’s men has been less than impressive with only one win out of the last five games. It is for this reason that Chelsea are the favourites for the tie at Stamford Bridge. If Spurs can maintain the fourth spot, they will secure a place in next season’s Champions League, with rising star Alli commanding their midfield.
The 21-year-old Egyptian international and Stoke City left-winger, was signed from Cairo club al-Ahly for £5 million (458 million INR) in 2016. One of the most popular players in Egypt, for helping his country reach the World Cup finals, Sobhi is playing a big part at his club. Nicknamed Egypt’s Lionel Messi, he won two league titles in three years with the Cairo side before being picked up by Stoke. He became famous both at home and in England for his abundance of skills. He will need to use these skills if his country is to move past the group stage at this year’s World Cup.
The Serbian international goalkeeper plies his trade in the Israeli Premier League for Maccabi Tel Aviv. After a phenomenal performance at the Under-20 level, Rajkovic helped his national side to be crowned World Champions in 2015. He was eventually called up to the senior team and has earned six caps for his national team, including an impressive performance in Serbia’s 3-0 victory against Moldova in their last World Cup qualifier.
Nicknamed El Chucky, the Mexican international midfielder is a regular for PSV Eindhoven in Holland and he is only 22 years old. ESPN recently reported that Lozano has scored 14 goals and 7 assists in the Eredivisie, his first season abroad, and is the league’s top scorer. He has been the best player in Holland this season and is also the only player to score in seven of his first eight club matches. Lozano earned his first cap for his country in 2016 and is expected to be in top form this June for his national side.
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