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HomeSportHeroes in the making: Youngsters who shone at the FIFA World Cup

Heroes in the making: Youngsters who shone at the FIFA World Cup


Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)

Enzo Fernandez win FIFA Younger Participant award on the Qatar World Cup.

When Argentina got here into this World Cup on the again of a 36-match unbeaten run, Enzo Fernandez, who had three worldwide appearances underneath his belt, was a comparatively unknown amount and was not anticipated to be a key participant.

However all that modified when the workforce struggled to attach defence to assault within the opening two video games. Whereas he scored a surprising objective within the win over Mexico, Enzo’s attributes had been higher served because the sitting midfielder in entrance of the defence.

His passing and ball development allowed Argentina’s talisman Lionel Messi to trigger havoc within the closing third of the pitch. The 21-year-old began the final 5 video games in Argentina’s run to the title and had probably the most profitable passes (77) and tackles (10) within the closing.

With the ‘Greatest Younger Participant’ award, the Benfica midfielder has thrust himself into the highlight and can quickly have suitors queuing up from among the many greatest in Europe.

Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)

Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol stood out in the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol stood out within the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol has undoubtedly been among the finest revelations of the Qatar World Cup.

The 20-year-old left-footed centre-back of RB Leipzig caught everybody’s consideration along with his strong and no-nonsense method to defending.

Enjoying each minute of his nation’s World Cup marketing campaign, Gvardiol was initially observed, due to his facemask (as a precautionary measure for an damage). Come to the top of Croatia’s World Cup marketing campaign, Gvardiol has stood out as among the finest kids on this World Cup.

By way of statistics, Gvardiol has been spectacular. He had 44 recoveries — a tournament-leading determine. He had eight interceptions and ranks second behind the Netherlands’ Jurrien Timber, who had 10.

Gvardiol is a balanced defender, evident in his effectivity in aerial and floor tackling. This, alongside along with his wonderful understanding of positioning, allowed him to anticipate attacking threats from the opposition.

He additionally scored in Croatia’s 2-1 win towards Morocco within the third-place match, the place he netted the primary objective with a diving header, turning into his nation’s youngest-ever World Cup scorer at 20 years and 328 days.

Aurelien Tchouameni (France)

Aurelien Tchouameni shone for his country France in Qatar.

Aurelien Tchouameni shone for his nation France in Qatar.

Defending FIFA World Cup champion France confronted a number of damage woes earlier than the match started in Qatar, together with the Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema. However Didier Deschamps’ most necessary job was to seek out replacements for its midfield maestros Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

That is the place Actual Madrid’s new recruit, Aurelien Tchouameni got here in. The 22-year-old changed Kante within the midfield and had began each match for Les Blues within the World Cup.

In opposition to England, he determined to place his foot on the gasoline and struck a surprising lengthy ranger to seek out the bottom-left nook, giving France the lead.

As much as the ultimate, defensively, the midfielder had probably the most interceptions within the World Cup (12) — based on Opta — adopted by Declan Rice (11) and Jurrien Timber (10).

France might have missed out on defending its crown after shedding 2-4 to Argentina on penalties, however Tchouameni can be a sworn statement of France’s brilliant future and squad depth within the years to return.

Julian Alvarez (Argentina)

Julian Alvarez scored four goals for Argentina in the World Cup.

Julian Alvarez scored 4 targets for Argentina within the World Cup.

Julian Alvarez will in all probability inform his grandkids about 2022. Having already accomplished a headline switch to Manchester Metropolis in the summertime, the 22-year-old discovered a spot on Argentina’s squad to Qatar for the winter World Cup.

The ticket to Qatar, nevertheless, was just for a second-choice striker, a deputy to Lautaro Martinez. Lautaro was the go-to man for La Albiceleste. He was the senior and had been a part of the Copa America triumph.

However Lionel Scaloni, adamant on refreshing the permutations along with his lineups on the quadrennial occasion, gave Alvarez a begin within the final group stage sport towards Poland. That was all Alvarez wanted. He scored towards Poland, then towards Australia, then the Netherlands and one other one towards Croatia.

By the point the ultimate beckoned Argentina, Alvarez had scored 4 and was contending for the Golden Boot. Although he couldn’t prolong his tally within the closing towards France, Alvarez proved an ready deputy for Lionel Messi.

He not solely cast a spot in Argentina’s beginning XI but additionally guided its progress with essential targets. For his exploits on the World Cup — poise in ending and skill to shoulder accountability — Alvarez would possibly simply turn into a mainstay within the Blue and White colors.

Jude Bellingham (England)

19-year-old Jude Bellingham emerged as a dominant player in the midfield.

19-year-old Jude Bellingham emerged as a dominant participant within the midfield.

In 2020, a variety of eyebrows went up when Birmingham Metropolis retired its No. 22 jersey worn by a 16-year-old, who was shifting on to a German aspect.

“In such a remarkably brief house of time, he has turn into an iconic determine at Blues, displaying what may be achieved by way of expertise, onerous work and dedication,” the membership mentioned.

{The teenager} — Jude Bellingham — has gone on to show his former membership proper with a stirring efficiency on the European stage for Borussia Dortmund and on the World Cup, as England’s youngest participant in Qatar.

With a objective in England’s 6-2 mauling of Iran within the group stage, he grew to become the second-youngest scorer for his aspect in World Cups.

Regardless of crashing out to France within the quarterfinals, the English aspect had a variety of positives to soak up, with the brightest being the efficiency of Bellingham.

Slotted within the midfield position, the 19-year-old was all enterprise as he went on to dominate the midfield for the Three Lions, with no participant making extra tackles and interceptions for England than Bellingham.

With Declan Rice, too, in its ranks, England has a younger midfield platform to construct its future sides upon.



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