One player to watch from each FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 team
One standout Player from Each U-20 World Cup 2023 Team
The FIFA U-20 World Cup offers an exciting glimpse into the future of football, this prestigious tournament provides a platform for all the young talents from across the globe opportunity to represent their nation and showcase their talent.
Some gifted players have the potential to make a significant impact and make a name for themselves, from prodigious playmakers to tenacious defenders, each team possesses a gem waiting to shine. Get ready to witness the emergence of these exceptional young talents as they seize the opportunity to make their mark and shape the future of football. In this article, we highlight one standout player from each FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 team.
Kendry Paez: Ecuador
The 16-year-old is regarded as the best talent to ever emerge out of Ecuador, we’ve seen some finest footballers to come out of South America, mostly associated with either Brazil or Argentina, and very few come out of Ecuador.
Paez is set to sign for Chelsea when he turns 18 in 2025, he has already scored one goal and provided six assists for his national team.
Valentin Barco: Argentina
Ever since Argentina won the World Cup, there has been a renewed interest in the Argentinian League, top young players who are playing in the league. One such name is Valentin Barco, is a 18-year-old attacking left-back who plays for Boca Junior, which makes him one of the sought-after players across Europe.
He was included in The Guardian’s “Next Generation” list for 2021. In the same year, he was chased by Manchester City, but Boca were very firm on selling him as his contract runs till 2023. Recently, there has been news that Juventus are trying to go all in for the talented youngster.
Abbosbek Fayzullaev: Uzbekistan
Abbosbek Fayzullaev is a 19-year-old winger from Uzbekistan, he plays for the Uzbekistan Super League club, Pakhtakor Tashkent, it is based in the capital city Tashkent. Pakhtakor means “cotton-grower” in English.
Abbosek helped Uzbekistan win their first ever AFC U-20 Asian Cup, his performances earned him “Most Valuable Player” of the tournament. The Asian Cup triumph established Fayzullaev as one of the most exciting young players to emerge from Uzbekistan in recent years.
Arquimides Ordóñez: Guatemala
Ordonez who plays for FC Cincinnati, is a Guatemala international who was born in the United States but represents Guatemala at international tournaments. He started his playing career at youth clubs, due to his performances he signed a professional homegrown player deal with FC Cincinnati.
The 19-year-old was key in helping them qualify for this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup, leading the team to the semifinals of the U-20 CONCACAF Championship last summer with five goals. Ordoñez scored five goals in six appearances, becoming the only player to score these many goals and was named in the tournament’s Best XI.
Simone Pafundi: Italy
Born in Monfalcone, Italy, Pafundi is a player who plays for the Italian club Udinese and represents Italy at national tournaments. The 17-year-old was called up for the Udinese senior team after a great spell in the club’s U-19 team. He became the first player born in 2006 to take part in Serie A, when he played his first senior game for the club.
In May 2022, Pafundi was called up by head coach Roberto Mancini to join a training camp with the Italy senior national team, in November of the same year, he received his first official call-up to the senior national team for two friendlies against Albania and Austria. He eventually made his debut on 16 November 2022, at 16 years old, playing the final minutes against Albania, becoming the youngest debutant ever in the last 100 years.
Yáser Asprilla: Colombia
The 18-year-old attacker comes from Colombia, he came from a tiny club located in Medellin, Envigado, the same academy which has produced stars such as James Rodriguez, Giovanni Moreno and Fredy Guarin.
The teenager went on to stand out as one of the revelations of the 2021 season, netting five goals in 19 games as his side secured a ninth-placed finish. In 2022, he joined Watford, and he looks like a successful export from the South American nation.
Samba Diallo: Senegal
The Senegalese 20-year-old footballer who plays for Ukrainian club, Dynamo Kyiv, a club that plays in the Ukrainian Premier League, he is a product of the local Senegalese club AF Darou Salam.
In July 2021, he signed a professional contract with the Ukrainian club and started playing in the reserve team. In October 2022, he made his senior debut for the club when he came on as a substitute in the 2022-23 UEFA Europ League group stage.
Oliver Colloty: New Zealand
Hailing from the same country as Chris Wood, Colloty is a young and talented striker from New Zealand. The 19-year-old plays for the New Zealand club, Melville United, he was the leading goal scorer for the club last year.
The Melville United striker has since then been chased by English clubs, he was tracked by Sheffield Wednesday, he was training with the club and soon was tracked by Fleetwood Town, a League One team.
Sebastián Kóša: Slovakia
The Slovak footballer who plays as a centre back is a young 19-year-old, born in Nove Zamky, Slovakia. He started his youth career with FC Komjatice, signing a professional contract for Nitra in 2016. Nitra is one of the oldest football clubs in Slovakia.
In February 2022, Kosa was named the Best Player of Slovakia in the U19 Grassroot Football Gala, soon after his performances, he was then called in December 2022 by the Italian coach Francesco Calzona to join the Slovakia national team.
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Tai Abed: Israel
Tai Abed (Israel,18) is a football player, currently playing for the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven U19 team. The attacking midfield player joined the club in 2021 and his contract runs till 2024, he joined the club from Hapoel Tel Aviv, club that competes in the Israeli Premier League.
He was a part of the U19 Israeli squad that participated in UEFA U19 Championship, which was held in Slovakia. Israel lost to England in the final of the tournament, even though they lost the final, they were still able to take the match to extra-time.
Kuryu Matsuki: Japan
Born in 2003, Muroran, Hokkaido, the Japanese midfielder currently plays for the Japanese side FC Tokyo. The 20-year-old started his career with the local side Muroran Osawa FC. He signed his contract with FC Tokyo in 2022.
Before the contract, Matsuki was called to train with French side Olympique Lyonnais in 2021. Following his trial, he came back to Japan and decided to stay in his native country before taking a huge step of playing in Europe.
Fabricio Díaz: Uruguay
Fabricio Diaz, Uruguayan international, is a 20-year-old midfielder who plays for professional club Liverpool Montevideo, a club based in Uruguay. He is a youth academy graduate of the same club, he made his professional debut in 2020.
In 2022, he was called for the senior team for the first time, since then he has made progress and Barcelona are interested in signing the Uruguayan, Ronal Araujo a fellow Uruguayan will play a key role in signing him.
Wilson Odobert: France
The French International is an exciting 18-year-old winger who has risen through Paris Saint-Germain‘s youth system but plays for Troyes, a part of the City group headed by Premier League giants Manchester City.
His goal scoring and passing abilities have helped him build a reputation of an exciting young talent in France. Troyes are looking to seal his long-term contract, which will see him play for the French club till 2026.
Also Read: FIFA U20 World Cup 2023: Fixtures, schedule, timing and telecast details
Kim Ji-soo: South Korea
Kim Ji-Soo is a 18-year-old football player that comes from South Korea, who plays for the South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa. He is a strong and tall centre back who is capable of playing with both feet.
The U20 Korean International has impressed clubs from across Europe, with likes of Brentford, Bayern Munich and Sporting Lisbon interested in signing the young defender.
Youssef Amyn: Iraq
Amyn is an Iraqi football player, born in Germany representing Iraq at youth international level. 19-year-old is a graduate of Viktoria Koln, a German club, he made his debut for the club in 2021, becoming the youngest player to appear in a professional match for the club in its history.
He has represented Germany at the youth level, in 2020, he was called up to represent the Iraq’s youth team but he rejected the invitation. In 2023, he showed his desire to represent Iraq at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Marco Aceituno: Honduras
Aceituno is a Honduran professional footballer who plays as a winger for the Honduran club, Real Espana. The 19-year-old winger has the capability of performing at the highest club level, he signed his professional contract in 2021.
In the year 2022, he has appeared in 6 matches for the U20 Honduras national team, managing 6 goals in 6 matches. His performance can be vital in Honduras achieving great success in this year’s U20 World Cup.
Chaïm El Djebali: Tunisia
El Djebali is a Tunisian footballer who was born in 2004, he is a product of the Lyon academy. he made his appearance for the club’s reserves team in 2021, and joined his professional contract with the club in June 2022, keeping him at club till 2025.
Born in France, he represented the France U16 team in 2019, and in September 2022, he accepted a call-up to the senior Tunisia national team for couple of friendlies.
Andrey Santos: Brazil
Andrey Santos is a Brazilian footballer who plays for the Brazilian club Vasco Da Gama on loan from Chelsea FC. Born on May 3rd, 2004, Santos operates as a central midfielder and is rated highly by some of the best football scouts globally.
Having started his professional journey with Vasco Da Gama, Santos has showcased unwavering consistency throughout his career at the club, his exceptional performances even at the youth level have solidified his reputation as one of the standout players on the field, the 18-year-old possesses the potential to become Brazil’s next sensational talent.
Kevin Paredes: USA
Kevin Paredes was born on 7 May 2003 in South Riding, Virginia and plays for VfL Wolfsburg. He played for D.C. United from 2016-2020, and has been playing for VfL Wolfsburg since 2022.
In this season, Paredes has contributed in his team’s scoring and assisting, having played 23 matches in his Bundesliga career, he has won seven of those matches. We can expect another talent coming up from the country.
Nabil Begg: Fiji
The Fiji wonderkid hails from Ba, a famous district of Fijian football. He plays form his hometown club Ba, and has already scored a number of important goals for his team.
The 18-year-old scored one of the most important goal of his career, last year he helped the U20 Fiji national team to qualify for 2023 U20 FIFA World Cup, his winner against New Zealand in the semi-final helped Fiji secure a place in the World Cup.
Edison Azcona: Dominican Republic
The Dominican footballer was born in La Romana, on 21 November 2003. He plays for the Major League Soccer club Inter Miami, owned by the legend David Beckham and managed by the legendary Phil Neville.
In March 2021, Azcona was named to the Dominican Republic squad for the 2020 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. He scored the only goal of the tournament for his country as they bowed out in the group stage.
Carney Chibueze Chukwuemeka is an English professional footballer, the 19-year-old plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea, he made his debut for the Aston Villa’s first team in 2021, before signing for Chelsea in 2022.
The midfielder, who helped England win the Euro U19s, signed a six-year deal with Chelsea in 2022. He has been liked with AC Milan as they look to strengthen their squad, and club like Sheffield United have also shown interest in the young star.
Victor Eletu: Nigeria
Eletu is a Nigerian footballer who plays for the Italian giants AC Milan and the U20 National team of Nigeria. From Lagos, Nigeria, Eletu spent time as a youngster at Prince Kazeem Eletu Academy in his hometown before earning a scholarship with AC Milan in 2018.
Playing for Milan’s under-19 team, Eletu has made consistent appearances, as a deep lying midfielder in the year 2022. In December 2022 he signed a new two-and-a-half year contract with Milan. Eletu was then asked to captain the U19 team of AC Milan.
Adama Bojang: Gambia
The 18-year-old “Gambian Hurricane” is a youth football player for the Gambia national U20 football team, born in Bakau, bojang plays in the Gambian top divison for Steve Biko Fc, a club located near the capital of Banjul.
He helped them earn promotion from the second division in 2021, in 2023, he scored the first half hat-trick during the second week of the new season, due to his performances he has gained interest from clubs including some in Egypt and England.
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