From Diego Maradona to Lionel Messi, from Romario to Lucas Moura, the path from South America to Europe is well-trod for the most promising stars of the continent. Players from the region are renowned for their technical abilities and passion for the game, making them tempting and risky investments for clubs in Italy, Spain, England and beyond.
With scouting in the biggest clubs having improved to the point where they have a global knowledge of football, players are being taken even younger from South America and thrown into action at the top of the game. Sometimes, all it takes is one spectacular season to convince a top team that a starlet is ready to move.
Who will be the next names to follow in the footsteps of Messi, Kaka, Falcao and the rest of the region's top superstars? We take a look at the most talented youngsters playing in South America right now.