Albeit many players has shown that with time, hard work, discipline, and order you can get to become a great footballer, there are others who are watched by the world at a young age due to their talents and maturity on the field. The prime example of that are guys like Pele or Eusebio, who gained world recognition by having outstanding performances in World Cups and just like these two, we have seen other players who showed us their potential even when they weren’t adults.
Sure, some of them didn’t live up to expectations, but others had marvelous careers. Football is about evolution and rebuilding most of the time, so when a new gem is discovered everybody wants to see what they’re capable of doing and which one of the top teams is going to take their talents to their ranks. Right now we are in front of a bunch of players who even though are you, are doing great teams in their current clubs.
Just in case you’re wondering who can be the rulers of football in the future, here are our top 10 wonderkids right now.
Honorable Mention: Vinicius Jr.
10. Trent Alexander-Arnold
England and Liverpool have found a very good player in full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who has displayed his quality under Jurgen Klopp leadership. Alexander-Arnold is only 20 years old and doing impressive teams on the pitch, where he’s earned recognition as one of the most promising players at this moment.
With a great pace, ease to dribble and his capacity to control the ball, Alexander-Arnold has everything to make it both in his club and his national team, despite the fact that his national side already counts with the likes of Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier in his position. Anyway, the future looks very favorable for this one, as it doesn’t look like we have seemed him playing at his peak.
9. Houssem Aouar
Olympique Lyonnais is used to develop good players and even though they hadn’t had somebody special to share with the world since a couple of seasons ago, that’s not the case right now. Here is when French attacking-midfielder Houssem Aouar made his appearance, one of the best products Lyon has to offer in recent times.
During this season, Aouar has introduced himself as one of the most prominent players France have right now –as if they need more talent-, playing at a great level, displaying his character in front of the challenges his team has had this season. Even Pep Guardiola called him “incredible” following an encounter between his team and Pep’s in Champions League. Alongside Tanguy Ndombele, Aouar is one of the best products we’ve seen in Lyon for a long time now, maybe since Benzema or Hugo Lloris.
8. Christian Pulisic
Pulisic has been doing great since a couple of years now, ever since he shocked the world with Borussia Dortmund. Albeit the American winger/attacking-midfielder is not having the best performance in his last games, nobody doubts that he’s set to be important in a big club and his national team.
He signed with Chelsea not so long ago and now we only can wait to see what he can do with the Blues. With his pace and dribbling skills, Pulisic has huge chances to be one of the best players in the Premier League and Europe. Christian is ready to take it all and now that he’ll be playing in a bigger club, the sky is the limit for him.
7. Joao Felix
One of the most wanted players in Europe right now is Benfica youngster, Joao Felix. Felix has made sure every top team across the continent turn their eyes for him due to his spectacular performances this term. He’s only 19 and has become one of the most important figures in his team so far this season, scoring 9 goals in 17 matches in Primeira Liga for the Eagles.
Joao has been linked with big clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool, so he’s very unlikely to keep playing at Estadio da Luz after the end of the season. There is a lot of hype surrounding this youngster and if he’s able to live up to expectations, whichever team gets him, they will have plenty of joy.
6. Luka Jovic
Luka Jovic is living a present similar to the aforementioned Joao Felix since every team in Europe appears to be fighting to get him. Jovic, curiously, is on loan from Benfica in German club Eintracht Frankfurt, where he’s having a breakthrough season, scoring 22 goals in 34 games so far.
Jovic is reportedly followed by Barcelona as their top target this summer, but there are other teams who will do whatever it takes to steal the Serbian striker. Luka is fast, knows how to control and maintain the ball on his feet and is a deadly scorer every time he is in front of the rival net. It’s not casual all the interest he’s generated in the last couple of months, as Jovic seems to be the future of strikers.
5. Frenkie de Jong
This guy is considered the complete midfielder by many people being only 21 years old and with a lot of things to do in his career. He made his professional debut in 2015, where he was 17 and ever since that he did nothing but enchant football fans.
With Ajax, he had impressive performances, becoming the leader of the Dutch side’s midfield, taking the team to have very good games both in the Netherlands and in Europe. Last term he inscribed his name as one of the most promising players in football, leading Ajax alongside Matthijs de Ligt to be Eredivisie runners-up and this year things are even better for him and his team. Frenkie is expected to join Barcelona at the end of this season, another proof that this one is not a fluke.
4. Matthijs de Ligt
If we talked about the future of midfielders, now is time to talk about the future of defenders. Matthijs de Ligt has been nothing but marvelous during the last couple of seasons for Ajax, considered another player whose days in Johann Cruyff arena are finishing. De Ligt is followed by several squads, including Barcelona and Bayern Munich, so it’s only a matter of time before we see him leaving the Netherlands.
Matthijs is a very serious defender who doesn’t think twice to go tackle for the ball; he’s very good at it and also using his feet. De Ligt can take the ball on his feet from his area to the rival’s, as he counts with a very good technique. He’s still young and has a lot to learn, but Matthijs can be compared to Franz Beckenbauer with no problem.
3. Jadon Sancho
Sancho has been considered one of the biggest promises of English football and even though he had up and downs during his first years with Borussia Dortmund, he has shown everybody why the German contenders signed him in the first place. If it wasn’t for this guy, who knows where Dortmund will be right now instead of fighting the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich?
Jadon is very talented with the football, has a huge capacity of dribbling and overcome rivals while at the same time is a very reliable scorer. In a time where Christian Pulisic hasn’t been the best, Sancho took the reins of his team and has saved them more than once from losing. This guy is serious and we can’t wait to see what he’s capable of doing in next years.
2. Marcus Rashford
A gem from Manchester United is what reunites us in this position. Marcus Rashford is considered the main face of English football’s future alongside other youngsters that made the national side had a marvelous campaign during the last FIFA World Cup. Rashford is expected to become the leader of Manchester United, even though he hasn’t counted with many opportunities this year.
He’s very fast, intelligent and lethal in front of the net. Albeit he already plays in one of the most important clubs in the world, other squads like Real Madrid had shown interest in the youngster, who had participated in 26 matches in Premier League this season, scoring 9 goals and assisting in other 6. Even our third spot, Jadon Sancho, says Rashford serves as an inspiration for him.
1. Kylian Mbappe
What is left to say about this guy? Kylian Mbappe has done it marvelous ever since his days with Monaco when the team managed to get into the Champions League semi-finals thanks to him. He is the second-most expensive football transfer (€180 million) in history, a FIFA World Cup winner and arguably the most promising player in the world.
Right now he’s trashing rivals with PSG in France, but nobody knows what the future holds for this guy, as he’s been linked with various teams, including the all-powerful Real Madrid. Kylian has proved his quality again and again over the last two seasons, maybe now is time for him to take a bigger challenge and play for a team who actually compete to win important things.