6 Best Young Players in World Football Right Now

Richard Morgan@Richiereds1976Contributor IJune 29, 2013

6 Best Young Players in World Football Right Now

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    The world is presently awash with some outrageously gifted young talents and we at Bleacher Report are here to give you the lowdown on the six best wonderkids currently plying their trade on Planet Football.

    The chosen six are all aged 21 years and under, and they have been selected in no particular order as that is for you to decide upon.

    So tell us your thoughts about those who have made the final selection, who you think is the best of the six and if we have left anyone off the list…

Christian Eriksen

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    Age: 21
    Club: Ajax
    Nationality: Danish
    Position: Attacking midfield player
    Estimated value: £20m

    This impish schemer is currently one of Europe’s most sought-after midfield commodities having consistently shone for Dutch giants Ajax for the past four seasons, with both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund reportedly interested in landing the Denmark international.

    A regular scorer and a creator of goals on both the domestic and international fronts since first coming on the scene in 2010, this Great Dane has all the attributes to go on and become not only one of his country’s greatest-ever players alongside previous luminaries such as Michael Laudrup, but also one of the continent’s most eye-catching attacking midfielders.

Raphael Varane

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    Age: 20
    Club: Real Madrid
    Nationality: French
    Position: Central defender
    Estimated value: £35m

    The Madrid defender is without a doubt, in present form, the best young centre-back in world football after what has just been an outstanding campaign at the heart of los Blancos’ defence.

    The 20-year-old took over from experienced Portugal international Pepe at the Santiago Bernabeu early on in the 2012-13 season, and he barely put a foot wrong thereafter, with his silky-smooth displays at the back against the likes of both Barcelona and Manchester United confirming his status as a first-choice pick for the then Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.

    As a result, France coach Didier Deschamps handed the youngster his senior international debut against Georgia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in March.

    And one can only expect Varane to get even better with age and experience over the course of the next decade, which is a terrifying thought for opposing attackers to contend with.


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    Age: 21
    Club: Real Madrid
    Nationality: Spanish
    Position: Attacking midfield player
    Estimated value: £25m

    The Spain international is reportedly choosing Real Madrid over Manchester City following an outstanding campaign for Malaga, per The Independent.

    The 21-year-old impressed in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League with some spectacular goals. Isco then confirmed his prodigious talents for all to see in the recent UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

    In Israel, Isco was the third-highest scorer in the competition and was also chosen to the Team of the Tournament, as his scintillating attacking performances went a long way toward helping his country retain their title.

    And to cap off a memorable campaign for the player, the Spaniard won the 2012 Golden Boy award in December as Europe’s best young player as voted for by journalists from the continent.

Thibaut Courtois

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    Age: 21
    Club: Chelsea
    Nationality: Belgium
    Position: Goalkeeper
    Estimated value: £22m

    There can be absolutely no disputing on present form who is the best young shot-stopper in the world. That man is Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois.

    The rock-solid Belgium international has really caught the eye of soccer fans with his displays between the sticks while on loan at Atletico de Madrid from Stamford Bridge these past two seasons, culminating in a wonderful campaign last time out in the Spanish capital.

    Courtois won the legendary Zamora Trophy in 2012-13, having achieved the lowest goals-to-games ratio of any keeper in La Liga. His man-of-the-match performance for Diego Simeone’s side in their shocking 2-1 extra-time win over Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final at the Santiago Bernabeu in May will go down as one of the all-time great goalkeeping displays of this or any other generation.

Mario Gotze

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    Age: 21
    Club: Bayern Munich
    Nationality: German
    Position: Attacking midfield player
    Estimated value: £35m

    Germany’s most expensive-ever player following his 37-million-euros transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich in April, this twinkle-toed playmaker is set to dominate both the European and world football scene for the next decade.

    And if you thought that the 2011 Golden Boy winner was a sight to behold during the previous four campaigns with Dortmund, just wait until former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola starts working with the player in Bavaria next season and beyond.

    Meanwhile on the international stage, the joint-youngster goalscorer for Die Mannschaft in the post-war era will be one of, if not the, young players to watch out for in next summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.


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    Age: 21
    Club: Barcelona
    Nationality: Brazilian
    Position: Forward
    Estimated value: £50m

    The two-time South American Footballer of the Year will have the opportunity with new club Barcelona next season, and then with Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, to cement his current reputation as Planet Football’s best young player.

    Having achieved all that there is to both individually and collectively with Santos back on his own continent, the outrageously talented playmaker finally made his long-awaited move to Camp Nou for £48.6m earlier this month.

    And now the whole of Europe waits with baited breath for affirmation of Neymar’s prodigious talents…


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