The 22nd edition of sports’ grandest competition takes place for the first time during the winter season. Many young players have made headlines in the World Cup over the years.
A number of high-profile youngsters are expected to make an impression at the upcoming World Cup as well.
Here are five such players:
Enzo Fernandez, Argentina
Over the summer, the 21-year-old was linked with a move to Old Trafford, but Benfica beat them to the punch, signing the Argentine from River Plate for around £12 million.
Fernandez has since established himself as a key player for the Portuguese giants this season, contributing three goals and four assists in 22 appearances across all competitions.
The midfielder is under contract with Benfica until June 2027 and allegedly has a £106 million release clause in his contract, but it is believed that Manchester United are still interested in the youngster.
Vinícius Júnior, Brazil
Vinicius Junior, who is only 22 years old, has already made a name for himself as one of the most gifted young players in the world. The Brazilian winger scored the game-winning goal in Real Madrid’s most recent victory over Liverpool in the 2022 Champions League. He is gifted with rapid speed and exceptional technical abilities.
In 14 games this season for Real Madrid, the potential Ballon d’Or winner has already scored six goals and provided three assists. Be ready for Vini to add to his 16 appearances for the Selecao, where he has already scored once.
Gavi, who is only 18 years old, broke Cesc Fabregas’ previous record as the youngest player ever selected by Spain for the World Cup. The Golden Boy Award and Kopa Trophy winner for 2022 is already a starter for Xavi’s Barcelona and has a tonne of potential.
For Spain to have any chance of going far in the competition, Gavi’s persistent pressing and dribbling abilities in the middle of the field are essential. He’ll be sporting the number 26.
Jamal Musiala, Germany
Jamal Musiala, 19, of Bayern Munich, is one of the world’s most promising young players. This season, the wunderkind has already scored or assisted on 22 goals across all competitions. He is also the club’s youngest player to appear in 100 games.
“This is magical, this is Messi-like.” This man must never leave Bayern. He enchants us all – he entertains us, it’s like Hollywood. Musiala must always play for me. His worth? I’d say a quarter of a billion. But he’s not for sale,” Germany and Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthäus said.
Pedri joins fellow teenager Gavi as two of Spain’s best young players today. Pedri, 19, made his name at the 2020 Euros, where he was named the tournament’s best young player.
The creative midfielder can pick a pass and is already being compared to some of Spain’s greatest midfielders, including Xavi and Iniesta.
“Our team in Spain is young.” We want to do well at the World Cup. Many people would think that having a young team is a disadvantage, but it’s actually an advantage for us because of the desire we have,” Pedri said ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.