The award is provided to the best youngster of the competition.

Each and every FIFA World Cup has remained witness to the exploits of a youngster, who in the next decade has gone on to become a sensation. FIFA has been awarding every hemisphere for their brilliancy – be it through the Golden Glove, Golden Boot or Golden Ball. But recognizing youngsters and lauding their display is extremely commendable.

These young guns are those who pick up the burden of the sport on their shoulders and carry the same till they retire. Yes, not every one of them turns out to be a blockbuster, like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or even the latest super-kid Kylian Mbappe. Some lose their charm, or form, or injury succumbs their career.

Notably, Pele, Michael Owen and Kylian Mbappe remain to be the youngest candidates to have received the Best Young Player award. The accolade was brought into existence in 1958. We will now take a look into the list of players who have received this accolade.

World Cup Best Young Player Award winners

  • 1958 – Pele (17) – Brazil
  • 1962 – Florian Albert (20) – Hungary
  • 1966 – Franz Beckenbauer (20) – Germany
  • 1970 – Teofillo Cubillas (20) – Peru
  • 1974 – Wladyslaw Zmuda (20) – Poland
  • 1978 – Antonio Cabrini (20) – Italy
  • 1982 – Manuel Amoros (21) – France
  • 1986 – Enzo Schifo (20) – Belgium
  • 1990 – Robert Prosinecki (21) – Croatia
  • 1994 – Marc Overmars (20) – Netherlands
  • 1998 – Michael Owen (18) – England
  • 2002 – Landon Donovan (20) – USA
  • 2006 – Lukas Podolski (21) – Germany
  • 2010 – Thomas Muller (20) – Germany
  • 2014 – Paul Pogba (21) – France
  • 2018 – Kylian Mbappe (19) – France

The FIFA World Cup 2022 which is to be held in Qatar will also feature numerous young talents. A handful of those names are – Antony (21, Brazil, plays for Manchester United in the Premier League), Jude Bellingham (19, England, plays for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga) and Gavi (18, Spain, plays for FC Barcelona in the La Liga).

The competition will commence on 20th November. Host nation Qatar will be up against Ecuador on the opening day!

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