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World Football: Rating The Top 100 Young Players on The Planet Right Now

Jason DouglasContributor IIDecember 20, 2016

World Football: Rating The Top 100 Young Players on The Planet Right Now

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    If you're anything like me, you're always curious about who the top young talents are in the world of football.

    Unfortunately, none of the major media outlets keeps track of these players. After researching this piece, I can see why.

    It is beyond the scope of one person to follow every young player, on every team, in every league around the world. How then do we identify the top talents without overlooking the next big star?

    The purpose of this list is to identify the Top 100 prospects in world football. Like all prospects, there is no guarantee any of these guys will pan out.

    What I've set out to do here is to identify the players we should all be "keeping our eyes on". I've tried to limit this list to Under-21 players.

    That said, I've included some slightly older players who still have a world of potential, but for whatever reason haven't fully achieved it yet.

    I'm a fan like everyone else on this site. That said, I encourage you to disagree with me and inform me about players I may have missed.

    The ranking is totally subjective in some sense because there are many players I've never seen play. My goal is to create an objective list that most people can agree on.

    Please send me your feedback and I'll adjust the rankings in the coming weeks.

    Now, without further ado...I bring to you.....

Tim Krul

2 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Tim Krul (22)—Newcastle United—Holland

Sergio Asenjo

3 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Sergio Asenjo Andres (21)—Atletico de Madrid—Spain

David De Gea

4 of 100

    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    David De Gea Quintana (19)—Atletico de Madrid—Spain

Igor Akinfeev

5 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Igor Akinfeev (24)—CSKA Moskva—Russia

Hugo Lloris

6 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Hugo Lloris (23)—Olympique Lyonnaise—France

Joe Hart

7 of 100

    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Joe Hart (23)—Manchester City—England

Renato Augusto

8 of 100

    Johannes Simon/Getty Images

    Renato Oliviera Augusto (22)—Bayer 04' Leverkusen—Brazil

Mesut Ozil

9 of 100

    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Mesut Ozil (21)—Real Madrid—Germany

Javier Pastore

10 of 100

    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    Javier Pastore (21)—Palermo—Argentina

Bruno Cesar

11 of 100

    Bruno Cesar Zanaki (21)—Corinthians—Brazil

Siem De Jong

12 of 100

    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Siem De Jong (21)—Ajax—Holland

Shinji Kagawa

13 of 100

    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Shinji Kagawa (21)—Borussia Dortmund—Japan

Ganso

14 of 100

    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Paulo Henrique Chagas de Lima (20)—Santos—Brazil

Toni Kroos

15 of 100

    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Toni Kroos (20)—Bayern Munich—Germany

Miralem Pjanic

16 of 100

    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Miralem Pjanic (20)—Olympique Lyonnaise—Bosnia Herzegovina

Alan Dzagoev

17 of 100

    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Alan Dzagoev (20)—CSKA Moskva—Russia

Sergio Canales

18 of 100

    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Sergio Canales Madrazo (19)—Real Madrid—Spain

Jack Wilshire

19 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Jack Wilshire (18)—Arsenal—England

Christian Erikson

20 of 100

    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Christian Eriksen (18)—Ajax—Denmark

Phillipe Coutinho

21 of 100

    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Phillipe Coutinho Correia (18)—Inter—Brazil

Adem Ljajic

22 of 100

    Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images

    Adem Ljajic (18)—Fiorentina—Serbia

Mario Gotze

23 of 100

    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Mario Gotze (18)—Borussia Dortmund—Germany

Douglas Costa

24 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Douglas Costa (20)—FC Shakhtar Donetsk—Brazil

Alex Teixeira

25 of 100

    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Alex Texeira Santos (20)—FC Shakhtar Donetsk—Brazil

Alex Sanchez

26 of 100

    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Alex Sanchez (22)—Udinese—Chile

Andrea Poli

27 of 100

    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Andrea Poli (20)—Sampdoria—Italy

Sotiris Ninis

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Sotiris Ninis (20)—Panathinaikos—Greece

Ramires

29 of 100

    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Ramires Santos do Nascimento (23)—Chelsea—Brazil

Axel Witsel

30 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Axel Witsel (21)—Standard Liege—Belgium

Moussa Sissoko

31 of 100

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Moussa Sissoko (20)—Toulouse FC—France

Fabian Delph

32 of 100

    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Fabian Delph (20)—Aston Villa—England

Leroy Fer

33 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Leroy Fer (20)—Feyenoord—Holland

Aaron Ramsey

34 of 100

    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Aaron Ramsey (19)—Arsenal—Wales

Luka Modric

35 of 100

    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Luka Modric (24)—Tottenham Hotspur—Croatia

Ever Banega

36 of 100

    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    Ever Banega (22)—Valencia—Argentina

Willians

37 of 100

    Willians Domingos Fernandes (24)—Flamengo—Brazil

Sandro

38 of 100

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Sandro Ranieri Guimaraes Cordeiro (21)—Tottenham Hotspur—Brazil

Manuel Lanzini

39 of 100

    Manuel Lanzini (17)—River Plate—Argentina

Yann M'Vila

40 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Yann M'Vila (20)—Stade Rennais FC—France

Jack Rodwell

41 of 100

    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Jack Rodwell (19)—Everton—England

Airton

42 of 100

    Airton Ribeiro Santos (20)—SL Benfica—Brazil

Giuliano Victor

43 of 100

    Giuliano Victor De Paula (20)—Internacional—Brazil

Wellington

44 of 100

    Wellington Alves de Silva (17)—Fluminense—Brazil

Bojan

45 of 100

    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Bojan Krkic Perez (19)—Barcelona—Brazil

Alexandre Pato

46 of 100

    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    Alexandre Rodriques da Silva (20)—Milan—Brazil

Stevan Jovetic

47 of 100

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Stevan Jovetic (20)—Fiorentina—Montenegro

Daniel Villalva

48 of 100

    Daniel Villalva (18)—River Plate—Argentina

Erik Lamela

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    Erik Lamela (18)—River Plate—Argentina

Nuri Sahin

50 of 100

    Nuri Sahin (21)—Borussia Dortmund—Turkey

Vurnon Anita

51 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Vurnon Anita (21)—Ajax—Holland

Patrick Van Aanholt

52 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Patrick van Aanholt (19)—Chelsea—Holland

James Rodriquez

53 of 100

    James Rodriguez (19)—FC Porto—Colombia

Gareth Bale

54 of 100

    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Gareth Bale (21)—Tottenham Hotspur—Wales

Marko Marin

55 of 100

    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Marko Marin (22)—Werder Bremen—Germany

Josh McEachran

56 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Josh McEachran (17)—Chelsea—England

Angel Di Maria

57 of 100

    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Angel Di Maria (22)—Real Madrid—Argentina

Andre Ayew

58 of 100

    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Andre Ayew (20)—Olympique de Marseille—Ghana

Kieran Gibbs

59 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Kieran Gibbs (20)—Arsenal—England

Eduardo Salvio

60 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Eduardo Salvio (20)—SL Benfica—Argentina

Gabriel Agbonlahor

61 of 100

    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Gabriel Agbonlahor (23)—Aston Villa—England

Marc Albrighton

62 of 100

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Marc Albrighton (20)—Aston Villa—England

Jordan Henderson

63 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Jordan Henderson (20)—Sunderland—England

Hatem Ben Arfa

64 of 100

    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Hatem Ben Arfa (23)—Newcastle United—France

Theo Walcott

65 of 100

    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Theo Walcott (21)—Arsenal—England

Aaron Lennon

66 of 100

    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Aaron Lennon (23)—Tottenham Hotspur—England

Giovani Dos Santos

67 of 100

    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Giovani dos Santos (21)—Tottenham Hotspur—Mexico

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie

68 of 100

    Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

    Qunicy Owusu-Abeyie (24)—Malaga CF—Ghana

Rafael

69 of 100

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Rafael Pereira da Silva (20)—Manchester United—Brazil

Davide Santon

70 of 100

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Davide Santon (19)—Inter—Italy

Neymar

71 of 100

    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (18)—Santos—Brazil

Romelu Lukaku

72 of 100

    Romelu Lukaku (17)—Anderlecht—Belgium

Federico Macheda

73 of 100

    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Federico Macheda (18)—Manchester United—Italy

Gonzalo Higuain

74 of 100

    Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

    Gonzalo Higuain (22)—Real Madrid—Argentina

Mario Balotelli

75 of 100

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Mario Balotelli (20)—Manchester City—Italy

Javier Hernandez

76 of 100

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Javier Hernandez (22)—Manchester United—Mexico

Thomas Mueller

77 of 100

    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Thomas Mueller (20)—Bayern Munich—Germany

Abel Hernandez

78 of 100

    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    Abel Hernandez (20)—Palermo—Uruguay

Carlos Vela

79 of 100

    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Carlos Vela (21)—Arsenal—Mexico

Nathan Delfouneso

80 of 100

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Nathan Delfouneso (19)—Aston Villa—England

Stefano Okaka

81 of 100

    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Stefano Okaka (21)—Roma—Italy

Daniel Sturridge

82 of 100

    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Daniel Sturridge (20)—Chelsea—England

Alberto Paloschi

83 of 100

    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Alberto Paloschi (20)—Parma—Italy

Jonathan Reis

84 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Jonathan Reis (21)—PSV—Brazil

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

85 of 100

    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Ricky van Wolfswinkel (21)—FC Utrecht—Holland

Luuk De Jong

86 of 100

    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Luuk De Jong (19)—FC Twente—Holland

Rogelio Funes Mori

87 of 100

    Rogelio Funes Mori (19)—River Plate—Argentina

Dominic Adiyiah

88 of 100

    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Dominic Adiyiah (20)—Reggina—Ghana

Jerome Boateng

89 of 100

    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Jerome Boateng (21)—Manchester City—England

Jeffrey Bruma

90 of 100

    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Jeffrey Bruma (18)—Chelsea—Holland

Phil Jones

91 of 100

    Mark Thompson/Getty Images

    Phil Jones (18)—Blackburn Rovers—England

Mats Hummels

92 of 100

    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Mats Hummels (21)—Borussia Dortmund—Germany

Holger Badstuber

93 of 100

    Joern Pollex/Getty Images

    Holger Badstuber (21)—Bayern Munich—Germany

Toby Alderweireld

94 of 100

    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Toby Alderweireld (21)—Ajax—Belgium

Eden Hazard

95 of 100

    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Eden Hazard (19)—LOSC Lille Metropole—Belgium

Simon Kjaer

96 of 100

    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Simon Kjaer (21)—Wolfsburg—Denmark

Jonathan Mensah

97 of 100

    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Jonathan Mensah (20)—Granada CF—Ghana

Mamadou Sakho

98 of 100

    Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

    Mamadou Sakho (20)—Paris Saint-Germain—France

David Luiz

99 of 100

    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    David Luiz Moreira Marinho (23)—Brazil—Brazil

Sergio Aguero

100 of 100

    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Sergio Aguero (22)—Atletico de Madrid—Argentina

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