Yes, we know, the World Cup is the biggest stage for the best players to display their exceptional talents with all football fans watching around the globe. But during rare settings, the football god will have fairy tales in store for us, where we will see the underdogs upsetting the giants, like Senegal’s famous win against France in 2002. Besides, such an occasion provides the perfect platform for underrated players or the young blood to have their breakthrough at senior level.
Here are some players under the age of 23 that you should look out for in Qatar:
Vinícius Júnior (Brazil, 22 Years Old)
Kylian Mbappé may have snubbed Real Madrid to stay in Paris with a handsome salary, but Los Blancos proved that they are just fine with the French superstar, with captain Karim Benzema continue to age like a fine wine and sensational abilities of Vinícius Júnior.
The young and volatile striker will be a big part of Brazil’s quest to regain its former glory in Qatar, and he will have no problem dealing with pressure as he has often been seen to be clutch during big games.
Jude Bellingham (England, 19 Years Old)
With Kalvin Phillips out injured, and the ageing of Jordan Henderson, England is in the shortage of quality midfielders to support its amazing strike force. Fortunately, the Three Lions are blessed with a sought-after gem of Jude Bellingham.
The Dortmund star might only be 19, but he has shown the England fans what the team lacks in its central area, and with a transfer set to take place next summer, Jude Bellingham will definitely grab this golden opportunity to raise his price tag with sublime skills.
Rafael Leão (Portugal, 23 Years Old)
We all know Portugal is known to produce flankers that can fare well in both scoring and assisting, but perhaps the closest thing we have to Cristiano Ronaldo is none other than Rafael Leão from AC Milan.
The new season has not been kind to the Portuguese captain as we have often seen him playing from the bench in the club and losing his form at international level. If Ronaldo really wants a good last shot at the World Cup, the 37-year-old knows he will need huge support from his co, one of the key teammates would be Leão.
Pedri (Spain, 19 Years Old)
When fans look at the skills displayed by the 19-year-old, they would easily relate to Barcelona’s famed ability to produce talents from its academy La Masia. However, Pedri is actually not a graduate from the famous youth programme.
Dubbed the “Next Iniesta” and the inheritor of Iniesta’s popular no. 8 shirt for the Catalan giants, Pedri is already carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders for club and country. Returning to full fitness from an injury last season would help his and Spain’s bid to win the World Cup again.
Which young star do you think would shine the brightest in this year’s World Cup?