Albeit South America is not what it used to be in prior years when it came to developing and exporting talents, the subcontinent still manages to deliver good assets every year. They haven’t given the world another Lionel Messi or Neymar Jr., but you still can find very exciting players that will probably become stars in the future.
Just in case you’ve been lost on this matter, today we’re going to discover some of the most talented and exciting players South America has to offer right now. The good thing here is that more countries besides Brazil and Argentina have put interesting assets on the map. With the Copa America around the corner, now is a good time to find out who are the most exciting players this region has to offer for the future as some of them will showcase their talents in the competition.
Here are the top 10 best wonderkids in South America.
Honorable Mention: Ezequiel Barco
10. Thiago Almada
This attacking midfielder has been one of the best surprises in Argentinian football in recent years. Thiago Almada plays for Argentinian side Velez Sarsfield, where he has enchanted everybody with his skills.
The 18-year-old midfielder has already being considered the next Lionel Messi by many and has been linked with Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City. This kid is going places and it’s only a matter of time before we see him playing at the best level and being one of the leaders of the Argentina national team.
9. Carlos Cuesta
This Colombian center-back is considered the next generation of defenders for his national team. Cuesta has been one of the most prominent defensive players in South American football, leading the U20 Colombian team to qualify to the World Cup of the category, reaching big stages in the tournament.
He currently plays for Colombian giants Atletico Nacional, but his time there appears to be coming to its end seeing the good performances he’s had at a club and international level. His anticipation, aggression and tackling alongside his intelligence on the pitch make him one of the future stars not only in Colombia but South America.
8. Yeferson Soteldo
The Venezuelan national team have had good generations of players in recent years, but the one who will face the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers is arguably the best in their history and this guy can be one of the leaders of that team.
Yeferson Soteldo started his career playing with Venezuelan side Zamora, where he enchanted everybody, taking his talents to Chile to play for Huachipato and Universidad de Chile, respectively. Right now he plays for Santos in the Brazilian Serie A under the leadership of then Argentinian national side boss Jorge Sampaoli and wearing the magical number 10 of Santos. This kid is hoped to do big things and the future looks bright for him.
7. Wuilker Fariñez
It’s not common to see goalkeepers on these types of lists, but the things this guy has done earned him a spot in our top. Wuilker Fariñez, another player from Venezuela, is one of the most talented goalies in South American football right now.
He started his career playing for Venezuelan giants Caracas before taking his talents to Colombia, where he currently plays for another big club in Millonarios. Fariñez has been turning a lot of heads to him in recent times, with Barcelona reportedly interested in his services. He has everything to become one of the best in his position and we only have to wait to see how good his career is.
6. Exequiel Palacios
Palacios is another player who has been gaining a lot of attention in the last months. The 20-year-old has been one of the most talented players Argentinian giants River Plate have showcased in recent seasons.
Clubs like Real Madrid and Arsenal have shown their interest in the youngster, who might be living his last days with El Millonario. Palacios won’t be playing in the upcoming Copa America due to an injury, but he won’t miss offers this offseason; he’s one of the most entertaining players to watch right now and if he’s well managed, he can do good things in European football.
5. Rodrygo Goes
Rodrygo Goes, simply known as Rodrygo is a Brazilian forward who will join Real Madrid this summer after his services were acquired by the Spanish team last summer from Brazilian Santos. This season he’s thrived under Jorge Sampaoli and is already considered as the future of Brazil alongside Vinicius Jr. and more assets.
Goes is a very fast player, an unbalancing footballer who is not afraid to show up when things aren’t going the best way for his side. A great finisher and a very mature player who can make an impact in Real Madrid. However, perhaps another season with Santos would make him a better player when the time to play with the 13-time Champions League winners arrives. Anyway, this is a guy you need to have in consideration as one of the future stars of football.
4. Everton Soares
This Brazilian winger is doing everything he wants with his current team, Gremio. He’s already a proven winner since he won the Copa Libertadores with Gremio back in 2017 and even helped his team to play the FIFA Club World Cup when he scored the tiebreaker against Pachuca in the tournament semifinals.
He is a great dribbler, an electrifying player who can do anything he wants on the left flank against any defender. His good performances earned him a call to Brazil's 23-man squad for the 2019 Copa América, as this guy is ready to take his talents overseas; we only have to wait to discover which team is going to sign him this summer.
3. Giovani Lo Celso
Albeit this guy’s career seemed to be over in the eye of many after his awful tenure in Paris Saint-Germain, Giovani Lo Celso recovered his best version and delighted everybody in Europe with Real Betis, helping the team to reach the Copa del Rey semis and the Europa League round of 32.
He’s now one of the most wanted players in European football, as there are reports suggesting teams like Tottenham Hotspur could offer up to €80 million in order to get the former Rosario Central player. Lo Celso has taken his game to another level and now he looks ready to take the big stage and become the leader of the Argentinian national team midfield.
2. Arthur Melo
This Brazilian midfielder was one of the figures of that Gremio side that won the Copa Libertadores in 2017 and went to clash with Real Madrid in the FIFA Club World Cup. Arthur is now an important player in one of the most decorated teams in the world, Barcelona, sharing touches with impressive players, including the one and only Lionel Messi.
Albeit he landed in Barcelona with not so much chances to be in the team’s plans, he turned things around and ended up the season as a reliable player in the midfield, combining very well with Chilean Arturo Vidal and playing a total of 44 matches with the Blaugrana. Arthur is set to keep his good level with Barcelona and the Brazilian national team this summer as the sky is the limit for this midfielder.
1. Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius Jr. is not only one of the most interesting youngsters in South American football but in the whole world, as this Brazilian forward was great during his times with Flamengo, taking his talents to Real Madrid and replicating his good performances there, despite not being thought to have great participation with Los Blancos.
He actually combined pretty well with French star Karim Benzema and next season people expected to see more good things from him, maybe combining with newcomers Rodrygo Goes and Luka Jovic. He still has things to improve, but the ones he already showed this season make Real Madrid dream big with this guys. There is no doubt about it, Vinicius Jr. is the best wonderkid South America has right now.