Italy's stars of the future? The AC Milan, Inter, Juventus & Roma youngsters who shone at the Memorial Scirea tournament

The Nerazzurri clinched the annual trophy with a clinical victory over the Turin side in a mini Derby d'Italia, but the talent was shared out well among the top clubs
By Kris Voakes in Cinisello Balsamo

Over the last 10 days, the 22nd Memorial Gaetano Scirea tournament brought together 18 Under-14 teams for the annual festival of youth football in the name of the former Juventus and Italy defender. Like so many of the editions before, it was a huge hit, with 26 matches in total producing 72 goals before Inter secured a 3-0 final victory over Juve on Sunday to claim their fifth triumph.

But the biggest boast of the organisers is in regard to some of the great names that have graced the tournament in the past. Players such as Thiago Alcantara, Leonardo Bonucci, Sebastian Giovinco, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Nocerino, Giampaolo Pazzini, Andrea Pirlo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart have all taken their first big step into the spotlight at the Centro Sportivo Gaetano Scirea in previous years. The big hope now is that many of this year's stars will soon become household names in thriving Italian club sides in the seasons to come.

Below we have a look at some of the players to watch in the future who have stood out over the past fortnight.
Date of Birth
03/02/1997 (age 14)
Position Attacking Midfield
He's a bit like
Manuel Rui Costa

Comfortable playing either side of the frontman, and even leading the line at times - as he did during the 7-0 victory over Tritium - Vido has the pace and desire to threaten many a defence. Normally at his best when picking up the ball 30 or 40 yards from goal, he has a great eye for a pass, finds good positions for himself, and also knows just how to strike a ball. He finished as the tournament's joint-top scorer with four goals.

Date of Birth
11/08/1997 (age 14)
Position Defensive Midfield
He's a bit like
Esteban Cambiasso

The industrious midfielder is the Milan vice-captain, and it's easy to see why he might have aspirations to wear Massimo Ambrosini's armband in the first team one day. Playing as the pivot in a 4-3-2-1 formation, Crociata rarely put a foot wrong during the Scirea as he led his side with great gusto. He struck their opening goal of the tournament after just three minutes when striking from distance, and rarely lost the ball thereafter. Set up the vital opener for Vido in the draw with Ajax as part of another excellent display, breaking up the attacks of the silky Dutch side and setting his side on the move with passing like clockwork.

Date of Birth
10/11/1997 (age 13)
Position Left-Back
He's a bit like
Javier Zanetti

Wearing the No.4 shirt for Inter and starting at full-back, you have to be some player if you are not going to be compared to the legendary Javier Zanetti. However, the comparisons between Zanetti and Di Marco are more than positive, as the marauding left-back developed into one of the stars of the tournament, peaking at exactly the right time. In the second phase decider against Roma he was a driving force, and he played even better in the final. His fantastic left foot allows him to cross from almost any position, and his desire when running with the ball means he's a danger when cutting inside too. Added a clearance off the line in the final to his CV for the week.

Date of Birth
21/05/1997 (age 14)
Position Centre-Forward
He's a bit like
Christian Vieri

It was perhaps partly in the inability of other centre-forwards on show to hold up the ball, bring team-mates into play, and relieve some of the pressure on their sides that made Bonazzoli stand out. At 14, it would be tough to call him the complete targetman, but he certainly has the attributes which suggest his future could be a dazzling one. With an excellent left foot, lightning pace, and an ox-like charge when hitting the channels, he is a real threat to opponents. But his biggest positive is that ability to make the ball stick whenever his side seek him out as a rebuilder of attacks. It was one of the main factors behind Inter winning the final.

Date of Birth
26/03/1997 (age 14)
Position Centre-Back
He's a bit like
Fabio Cannavaro

He may well still have some growing to do, but Venturello has already shown early signs that he could become a top-class centre-half. Perhaps aided by his lack of real stature, he has developed an all-round game which saw off many awkward opponents, with Juve conceding only one goal before their defeat to Inter in the final. The Bianconeri skipper has a great sense of positioning, as well as a no-nonsense approach whenever the ball comes into the defensive third. Calm and assured on the ball, he also did superbly to stay with Inter's speedy substitute Samuel Appiah in the final without looking stretched once.

Date of Birth
27/01/1997 (age 14)
Position Left-Back/Left Winger
He's a bit like
Ashley Cole

In a modern footballing world with few left-backs to shout about, the Scirea showcased two in the final alone. But Prandoni is not only a more than competent full-back, as in the second half he switched to fill the left wing position he had played in for earlier stretches of the tournament. With a fantastic burst of speed and a great left foot, he has everything in place to develop into an excellent wideman. But he also has a great ability to force his opponent into mistakes when defending, added to a very intelligent awareness of the game which will come in handy should he make it to the full professional ranks.

Date of Birth
28/01/1997 (age 14)
Position Centre-Back
He's a bit like
Alessandro Nesta

Few centre-backs at the age of 14 look quite as comfortable with the task at hand as does Bordi, who was one of the main inspirations behind Roma's run to third place. Adept on either side when faced with attackers on the run, Bordi shows a great steel in his game. He's also mobile enough to cover superbly in the channels and is able to make lovely clean tackles even when in seemingly impossible positions. He shared the captain's armband with Lorenzo Di Livio during the Scirea, but was a leader at all times.

Date of Birth
11/01/1997 (age 14)
Position Winger
He's a bit like
Angelo Di Livio

The comparisons are obvious. Young Lorenzo has not just been passed on his father's features, but the ability is clearly in the genes too. A sublime right foot is the key to Di Livio's game, and while he used it to great effect at times during the tournament - not least in providing a great assist for Roma's opener in the third-place play-off against Ajax - you get the feeling that a switch from the left wing to the right could see him develop into one of the best talents in his age group. With power and drive added to his great crossing ability, there could be a second generation of Di Livio making it to Serie A in the not too distant future.

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