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Ganso and Neymar are two players crucial for future of International Football
The beautiful thing about sports in general is that for every player who is on the decline and whose glory days are behind him, there is someone else on the rise. The players are hungry to be as big as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Ronaldo, Andriy Shevchenko and Ruud van Nistelrooy were in their primes.
During 2010, players like Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Ganso, Romelu Lukaku and Jack Wilshere were just a few players who became more mainstream and showed the potential to be big stars at all levels.
Neymar drew quite a buzz during 2010 with his "almost-transfer" to Chelsea. He had a few problems on the pitch where his maturity was put into question, but it seems Neymar has been able to get over that obstacle and regain his place on the national team. If Neymar does not leave Santos in this upcoming transfer window, he will definitely be signed by a European side after he makes an impact in the Copa América.
Philippe Coutinho, who is another Brazilian, made his debut for Inter Milan in 2010 at just 18-years-old.
In quick fashion, he became a regular under Rafa Benitez, but now with Leonardo in charge, the young Brazilian may get more playing time as this year progresses. With the depth of attacking midfielders Brazil now has from the youth ranks, Coutinho will either feature in the Copa América or the U-20 World Cup for Brazil. At the club level, the young Brazilian will continue to learn from players like Dejan Stanković and Wesley Sneijder.
Paulo Henrique aka Ganso, has been quite the playmaker for Santos in Brazil the past two years, and he made his debut for Brazil in the fall of 2010 as the new No. 10, but went down with injury for a significant period of time. While he may not be ready for the Copa América, Ganso will be primed for a move to a top side in Europe once he regains his fitness and form during the upcoming Paulista state tournament.
It has been awhile that Belgium has produced a true world class player. Things are about to change with Romelu Lukaku (and let's not forget Eden Hazard as well). At 16-years-old, Lukaku was the top scorer of the Belgian Pro League. At 17, he is on the radar for teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea.
Nicknamed "Baby Drogba," he has the size and physical strength to make it big in the EPL. He also has the grace and touch to be a top striker in La Liga. Realistically speaking, he will most likely finish out the season at Anderlecht before making his move to the big time.
It is amazing that Lukaku has already become a veteran at the age of 17. He has seen action at the international level for Belgium, played in Champions League Qualifiers and has seen plenty of minutes in the Europa League.
Off the field, the youngster still has plans to finish school and knows that his time will come to be a world class striker.
Jack Wilshere wasted no time in 2010 in making a name for himself. After a loan spell with Bolton, Wilshere showed he was ready for life in the EPL. Young Jack established a solid partnership with Alex Song as the two defensive midfielders for Arsenal.
This year should be a good year for the Englishman as he gets more opportunities at the national team level. Eventually someone will have to replace Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Who better than Jack Wilshere?
Over time, he will establish himself as the premier box to box midfielder when he gets more chances to play as an attacking midfielder. For now he is proving that he can be defensive and play as an enforcer in the midfield.