Every year, young footballers with immense potential step forward.
It was the likes of Theiry Henry, De Lima Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho in the 2000s, while Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar have took centre stage in recent years.
But, who amongst the current crop of young players will take over from these guys? If you ask most football followers, the name of Kylian Mbappe instantly pops up.
Enjoy as Tina Magazine run you through a list of the 10 best young players under the age of 22 in world football.
10. Jadon Sancho (Dortmund and England – 18)
Jadon Sancho is widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Europe.
The 18-year-old England international is currently a star in the Bundesliga and has nine goals and 10 assists in all competitions this season.
Sancho, who joined Dortmund from Man City in 2017 for £8m has most recently been linked with a £70million move to Manchester United.
9. Kia Havertz (Leverkusen and Germany – 19)
When certain players received the ball, you can’t help but sit up and pay attention. Kia Havertz is one of those players.
The 19-year-old has established himself as a super-regular in the Leverkusen side, scoring nine goals and three assists in the Bundesliga this season.
Meanwhile, Leverkusen may have a tough job keeping hold of him in the summer, as Bayern Munich and Arsenal are in the running for the £40million-rated 19-year-old.
8. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool and England -20)
Trent Alexander-Arnold became the youngest player in Premier League history to create three goals in a top-flight contest after his hat-trick of assists in Liverpool’s 5-0 rout of Watford in January, 2019.
The 20-year-old right-back also won Liverpool’s Young Player of the Season award in 2017 and 2018.
7. Luka Jovic (Frankfurt and Serbia -21)
Jovic’s brilliant performances have attracted a lot of attention from top clubs around Europe, including Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid.
Jovic became Red Star Belgrade’s youngest goalscorer when he opened his account at just 16 years of age, and this season he became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score five goals in a single game.
The 21-year-old Benfica loanee has scored 21 goals in all competitions this season, including a league-leading 15 in Germany.
6. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid and Brazil – 18)
Still only 18, Vinicius Junior is already playing at a very high level.
The wickedly quick and technical dribbler has been a regular starter under manager Santiago Solari and has played so well to earn himself a call up to the Brazilian national team.
If the former Flamengo starlet keeps improving, the world will soon start to take notice.
5. Gabriel Jesus (Man City and Brazil – 21)
The Brazilian striker is back at the top of his game after a frustrating World Cup and a poor start to the season.
The 21-year-old may well be disappointed with the lack of playing time he has received so far this campaign, but there is no doubt that he continues to provide a key threat for Pep Guardiola’s men whenever he plays.
The former Palmeiras kid-sensation has been directly involved in 21 goals in 34 games this season, scoring 16 times and contributing five assists.
4. Marcus Rashford (Man United and England -21)
At just 19, Marcus Rashford was already being ear-marked as England’s and Manchester United’s main striker for years to come.
Although, he struggled to nail down a place in the Manchester United side under coach Jose Mourinho, but he’s back to his best under new manager – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Rashford’s electrifying pace and link-up play is frighteningly brilliant. This, complemented with his incisiveness in finishing makes him one of the top 10 young players in the world.
3. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona and France -21)
Ousmane Dembele has flourished this season for Barcelona, adding a different dimension to the team’s attack
The Frenchman’s key attributes are his blistering acceleration, nutmegs and a lightning change of direction.
The World Cup winner might not get the same number of goals or assists that Messi and Luis Suarez have for Barcelona but he has hit the net eight times and assisted four more in La Liga this season.
2. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax and Netherlands -19)
A cultured, ball-playing centre-back, De Ligt is the pride of Ajax and the Netherlands.
His emergence was one of the brightest points of the Amsterdamers’ 2016/17 season, when they lost out to Manchester United in the Europa League final.
His progress has been phenomenal ever since. Tactically smart, two-footed, visionary and a superb passer, the 19-year-old could develop into one of the best defenders of his generation.
De Ligt is the first defender ever to win the highly-respected Golden Boy award and is the current captain of Ajax.
1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France – 20)
After bursting on to the scene at Monaco in the 2016-2017 season, Kylian Mbappe has proven he is more than a one season wonder and has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent seasons.
The 20-year-old played an integral role in France’s World Cup triumph last year and won the inaugural Kopa Trophy in December – a new award given to the world’s best male footballer aged under 21.
The PSG star man is poised to take home the Ligue 1 top scorer award ahead of teammates Edinson Cavani and Neymar this season and has also transferred his scoring form to the international scene, netting 10 goals for France in 28 games.
Callum Hudson Odio (Chelsea and England -18)
Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal and Nigeria -19)
Phil Foden (Man City and England – 19)
Justin Kluivert (Roma and Ajax – 19)
Achraf Hakimi (Ajax and Morocco -20)
Christian Pulisic (Dortmund and USA -20)
Houssem Aouar (Lyon and France -20)
Alena (Barcelona and Spain – 21)
Lautaro Martinez, (Inter Milan and Argentina – 21)
Patrick Cutrone (Ac Milan and Italy -21)
Which players on this list will go on to become the next Andres Iniesta, Messi or Ronaldo?