8 World Football Prodigies Who Will Lead Their Small Nations to Global Relevance
The world of international football is an unpredictably fun cycle.
While it is always enjoyable to watch the historic nations compete for trophies, it is possibly even more entertaining to follow the smaller, lesser-known countries on their path for unprecedented glory.
Here is a list of eight young stars who will surely lead their un-historic nations to success in the upcoming years and possibly stun the world.
Note: Here were the requirements to be on this list:
1. Player had to be relatively under the radar, preferably from a non "Big Four" league
2. Player had to be under the age of 25
3. Country had to have relatively little international prestige and be on the rise in world football
Giorgi Chanturia: Georgia
The Vitesse Winger is a Georgian prodigy whose agility and dribbling skills have been compared to the legendary Lionel Messi.
Chanturia was in fact part of the Barcelona youth squad for the 09-10 season and is now one of the brightest stars in the Eredivisie at the ripe age of 18.
Georgia has never been regarded as a top European side, but with a talent like Chanturia in the lineup, anything is possible.
Ahmed Musa: Nigeria
Unless you are an avid follower of the Nigerian national team or the Eredivisie, the chances that you’ve heard of this speedy winger are slim.
Musa stars for VVV-Venlo in Holland, and he won the AIT Footballer of the Year award back in March for Nigeria.
His speed is virtually indefensible in the Dutch league and the CAF, and soon, he will surely be leading his country back to its glory days of the 90s.
Youssef El-Arabi: Morocco
The French-born Moroccan footballer is destined to lead his country to global glory in the next couple of years.
While El-Arabi’s club career is relatively under the radar, his excellent form in his first couple of country caps hasn’t gone unnoticed by soccer enthusiasts.
With a plethora of fantastic young talents that Morocco has at its disposal right now, there is no doubt that the nation is on the rise in world football, and El-Arabi will be the ringleader of their ascension.
Xherdan Shaqiri: Switzerland
If you haven’t been apart of Shaqiri’s buzz by now, it is a doubt you ever will.
The FC Basel wonderkid has all the attributes of a perfect winger, with excellent pace, dribbling skills and power in his 5’7" frame.
Although he couldn’t propel his team to Euro 2012, his incredible strike against England hints that the sky is the limit for this Swiss winger.
Christian Eriksen: Denmark
It didn’t take long for the world to realize the incredible potential of young Christian Eriksen. Eriksen has had a phenomenal past 12 months and now has multiple rich suitors lining up for his signature.
He was recently named the Dutch Football Talent of the Year for club Ajax and the Danish Football Player of the Year for his native country.
He led his team to first place in Group H of the Euro qualifying, and it’s safe to say that Eriksen can lead his nation to a lot more top finishes in the future.
Eden Hazard: Belgium
Even though Belgium failed to qualify for Euro 2012, Hazard has labeled his native country as a force to be reckoned with.
Partnered with Romelu Lukaku, Moussa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini, Belgium’s future looks bright, and it could get even brighter depending on Hazard’s development.
Thanks to the “Belgian Bullet,” the Red Devils should be in Germany, Spain and England’s rearview mirror by the time World Cup 2014 comes around.
Ryad Boudebouz: Algeria
Boudebouz is already one of the best wingers in Ligue 1, and he is only 21 years old.
His phenomenal dribbling skills allow him to be incredibly creative in the attacking third and a nightmare for opposing defenses.
While he hasn't exactly translated his fantastic club form onto the international pitch, it is only a matter of time before Boudebouz makes Algeria one of the premier teams in Africa.
Tomas Necid: Czech Republic
Don't be alarmed by the fact that you may never have heard his name, because the Czech Republic striker will be on your radar soon enough.
Necid has dominated at almost every single international level he has played and was the 2006 Euro U17 Golden Boot Winner and 2008 Euro U19 Golden Boot Winner.
If history tells us anything, it is that Necid will be netting big-time goals for Czech Republic when the time is right.