There were some electrifying performances by young players across the teams at the recently-concluded tournament.
Every four years, the football World Cup knocks at our doorstep and we are introduced to some of the best talent in the world, of which some young players catch the eye with their courage and raw talent. The World Cup is the biggest stage where top young prodigies can make or break their careers.
In 2014, Colombian star, James Rodriguez, took the world by storm with his sizzling performances, scoring one of the most iconic World Cup goals in the process. That masterclass got him a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid. The FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia has come to an end. Therefore, we take a look back at the top five young players who owned the stage and showed maturity beyond their age.
Kylian Mbappe with the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament award
Aged only 19 and a World Cup winner, this French prodigy is already a well-established superstar. Perhaps, rightly so, he’s pegged by experts to be the successor to the throne held by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as the world’s best player. His goal in the final was a cherry on top of the cake for the World Cup winners, France. Mbappe was deservedly honoured with the FIFA Young Player of the Tournament award.
The youngster decimated Argentina scoring two goals and troubled every other opposition with his lightning quick speed and impeccable finishing. Mbappe finished the tournament with four goals to his name and a winner’s medal. Already a global icon, he is sure to set the stage on fire and is one of the top contenders for the Ballon D’Or in the future.
2. Benjamin Pavard- France
Another French prodigy that punched way above his weight was full-back Benjamin Pavard. He will be remembered for scoring one of the best goals of the World Cup against Argentina in the Round of 16 fixture.
Pavard was the second-choice in his position, but quickly became the favoured selection after his solid performances, that proved indispensable in France’s march to World Cup glory. Big clubs will surely look to get his signature post the tournament.
3. Yerry Mina- Colombia
Colombia had a rather disappointing World Cup, with most of their talented squad failing to hit top form. However there was one silver-lining and that was their towering centre-back, Yerry Mina. The youngster showed maturity and composure and was rock-solid in defense.
He scored decisive goals in the tournament, helping his country progress further in the Cup. Mina scored three goals in the tournament and since has become a hot property in world football and someone that the scouts will have their eyes on.
4. Aleksandr Golovin- Russia
Golovin was one of the best finds of the World Cup
Every Russian player was under immense pressure entering the World Cup, due to the country being the hosts and the pressure was ever more intense for the youngest player on their roster, Aleksandr Golovin. But,, to everyone’s pleasant surprise, this young starlet carried himself with poise and showed incredible control over every game from midfield, becoming the primary playmaker for the team.
With a goal and two assists to go with a string of consistent performances, Golovin was one of the finds from this World Cup. Consequently, he has attracted attention from some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
5. Hirving Lozano- Mexico
Lozano scored the winner against Germany
A name that German fans will not be forgetting for years to come, Hirving Lozano gave the German defence nightmares with his tenacity, speed and courageous direct style of play. He scored the vital goal that handed the defending champions a shock defeat. Lozano soon became the center of attention since that world-class performance. He scored one and assisted another in what was otherwise a disappointing outing for Mexico. Lozano, however, seized his opportunity and has attracted interest from many big clubs as well as showing great promise for the future.
With another World Cup coming to an end, the fans were treated to some of the best performances by young players and all the big clubs will be readying huge lucrative deals to sign up these prodigies in the ongoing transfer window.