Not that I’m the greatest fan of '80s soul music, but it was Whitney Houston who once sang that "the children are our future," and it was in those children that we should place our faith and trust.
Nearly three decades later in the world of modern football these lyrics still ring true, although money is a third, more material addition to what we invest in the world’s youth.
The Euro 2012 tournament earlier this summer showed us how international competition can broadcast the talents of a player, and the Olympics, perhaps the most global stage of them all, is a level above even that.
While viewers will certainly have their gaze firmly fixed on swimming, track and field as well as numerous other events, Olympic football is sure to get a massive amount of coverage in the next three weeks.
The under-23 formatted tournament is a chance for the starlets of tomorrow to showcase their skill and, as such, earn that move to the greener pastures they have dreamed of ever since they were kids (which, for some players, wasn't all that long ago).
Before we begin this countdown, it’s important to note that only one player can feature from each team as we strive to emerge with the most diverse array of prospects as possible in true Olympic nature.
With that understood, let’s continue.