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Goal.com Hot 100 - The Young Stars To Look Out For In 2011

Goal.com Hot 100 - The Young Stars To Look Out For In 2011

Goal.com profiles some of the world's most promising talent under the age of 21...

Frank Acheampong
Nationality: Ghana
Date of Birth: 16-10-1993
Club: King Faisal Babies
Position: Midfield
 
Ghana’s latest sensation. The left-footer’s dribbling ability has drawn comparison with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and attracted the interest of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, who personally invited the youngster to his base in Dubai to observe him.
 
Juan Agudelo
Nationality: USA
Date of Birth: 23-11-1992
Club: New York Red Bulls
Position: Striker
 
Came through the youth system at New York Red Bulls and features for the club regularly. He scored on his international debut against South Africa, becoming the youngest American player to do so.
 
Thiago Alcantara
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 11-04-1991
Club: Barcelona
Position: Centre Midfield
 
Technically gifted midfielder of Brazilian extraction. His father Mazinho was a World Cup winner in 1994 and he himself is on the fringes of the first-team at Camp Nou.

Danijel Aleksic
Nationality: Serbia
Date of Birth: 30-04-1991
Club: Genoa (on loan at Greuther Furth)
Position: Forward
 
A product of the highly respected youth development programme at Vojvodina, the elegant striker instantly caught the eye when debuting in 2007. Starred alongside Adem Ljajic in the 2009 Under-19 European Championships.
 
Alex Sandro
Nationality: Brazil
Date of Birth: 26-01-1991
Club: Santos
Position: Left-back
 
Everyone talks about Neymar and Ganso, but this Santos team also has talent at left-back. Alex Sandro has suffered with injuries but is a fast and skillful attacking full-back.
 
Jano Ananidze
Nationality: Georgia
Date of Birth: 10-10-1992
Club: Spartak Moscow
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
Hugely gifted if physically slight playmaker. Had a good run of games in the first team last season and will feature prominently in next season’s RPL. Once a target of Milan and Arsenal.
 
Karim Ansarifard
Nationality: Iran
Date of Birth: 03-04-1990
Club: Saipa
Position: Centre Forward
 
The most highly prized breakout talent in the Iranian league, he is being groomed for the Team Melli striking berth once occupied by the legendary Ali Daei.
 
Sergio Araujo

Nationality: Argentina
Date of Birth: 28-01-1992
Club: Boca Juniors
Position: Centre Forward
 
The latest in a long line of talents to emerge from La Bombonera. He is being tracked by some of Europe’s top teams including, reportedly, Real Madrid.

Irven Avila
Nationality: Peru
Date of Birth: 02-07-1990
Club: Huancayo
Position: Playmaker
 
A full international since 2009, Avila is regarded as the finest talent in his native league. Could depart for European shores after the 2011 Copa America.
 
Jordan Ayew
Nationality: Ghana
Date of Birth: 11-09-1991
Club: Marseille
Position: Winger/ Striker
 
A brother of Andre and already a part of OM’s first team picture. Has fine dribbling capabilities as well as physical strength and energy.
 
Ramon Azeez
Nationality: Nigeria
Date of Birth: 12-12-1992
Club: Future Pro Academy
Position: Striker
 
The Golden Eaglets’ stand-out performer at the 2009 Under-17 World Championship and is expected to lead a new generation at senior level.
 
Khouma Babacar
Nationality: Senegal
Date of Birth: 17-03-1993
Club: Fiorentina
Position: Striker
 
Giant striker who scored on his debut for la Viola last season. Recently extended his contract at the Artemio Franchi for another five years.

Gonzalo Barreto
Nationality: Uruguay
Date of Birth: 22-01-1992
Club: Lazio
Position: Striker
 
A small, quick forward, Barreto has shone in the Celeste youth divisions and could be the perfect player to continue the fine tradition of quality Uruguayan front-men over the years.
 
Nassim Ben Khalifa
Nationality: Switzerland
Date of Birth: 13-01-1992
Club: VfL Wolfsburg
Position: Striker
 
Earmarked by many as the heir to Alex Frei as the spearhead of the Swiss forward line. Scored four goals as Switzerland won the Under-17 World Championship in Nigeria in 2009.
 
Muhamed Besic
Nationality: Bosnia-Herzegovina
Date of Birth: 10-11-1992
Club: Hamburger SV
Position: Centre Back
 
Recently broke into the HSV first-team and is the youngest player ever to represent his national side.
 
Abdelhakim Bezzaz
Nationality: Algeria
Date of Birth: 20-10-1992
Club: FAF Academy
Position: Attacking Midfielder
 
The main architect of his country's second place finish on home soil at the most recent Under-17 AFCON. Arsene Wenger has supposedly cast an eye on the player, who has remarkable vision for his age.
 
Ouasim Bouy
Nationality: Netherlands/ Morocco
Date of Birth: 11-06-1993
Club: Ajax
Position: Left Midfield
 
Just 17 but already rated as the most promising talent in De Toekomst - the youth academy of Ajax. Reportedly signed to the stable of super agent Mino Raiola.
 
Yacine Brahimi
Nationality: France
Date of Birth: 08-02-1990
Club: Stade Rennais
Position: Left Midfield
 
Quick and talented young prospect who is of Algerian extraction like his hero Zinedine Zidane. Has represented France at every level from under-16 to under-21.

Lassana Camara
Nationality: Portugal/ Guinea Bissau
Date of Birth: 29-12-1991
Club: Benfica (on loan at Servette)
Position: Centre Midfield
 
Promising midfielder with good control and is adept at reading the game. On loan in Switzerland from Benfica and has featured over 30 times for the Portugal Under-19s. He was born in Bissau.
 
Edwin Cardona
Nationality: Colombia
Date of Birth: 18-12-1992
Club: Atletico Nacional
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
Replaced Giovanni Moreno from the youth ranks at the Medellin club when he left for Argentina in August. A wiry, ball-playing creative midfielder, Cardona is blessed with excellent skills and also possesses a wicked shot from long-range.
 
Luc Castaignos
Nationality: Netherlands
Date of Birth: 27-09-1992
Club: Feyenoord
Position: Striker
 
The forward has been linked with the elite of the European game since emerging as Holland’s most exciting striking prospect of recent times and is set to move to Inter in January. Has a style reminiscent to that of Thierry Henry.

Conor Coady
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 25-02-1992
Club: Liverpool
Position: Centre Back/ Centre Midfield
 
A born leader, Coady possesses all the traits to become the next Steven Gerrard. An athletic box-to-box midfielder, Coady captained the England under-17 side to Euro 2010 success, becoming the first Three Lions captain to lift a trophy in 17 years.

Philippe Coutinho
Nationality: Brazil
Date of Birth: 12-06-1992
Club: Inter
Position: Winger

The attacker has made the breakthrough at Inter having spent two seasons on loan in his homeland with Vasco da Gama. Has the ability to surge away from defenders and cross off either foot. Inter's prolonged injury troubles have given him an opportunity to mature quickly. 

Ulises Davila
Nationality: Mexico
Date of Birth: 13-04-1991
Club: Guadalajara
Position: Striker
 
A product of the same club that produced English Premier League players Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Carlos Salcido and Carlos Vela, Davila could some day join his club brethren abroad.
 
Christian Derflinger

Nationality: Austrian
Date of Birth: 02-02-1994
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Midfield
 
The most promising talent on the youth team books at FCB. The Austrian teenager has already trained with the first-team and is set for a career at the very top level.
 
Mattia Destro

Nationality: Italy
Date of Birth: 20-03-1991
Club: Inter (on loan at Genoa)
Position: Striker
 
Moved from San Siro to Genoa as part of the deal that saw Andrea Ranocchia go the other way. Was prolific for the Azzurrini at under-19 level. 
 
Malik Evouna
Nationality: Gabon
Date of Birth: 28-11-1992
Club: CMS
Position: Striker
 
Put his name in the headlines thanks to standout performances during 2009/2010 Gabon national league season, in which he finished as top scorer. Bordeaux, Guingamp and Marseille are rumoured to be interested.
 
Diego Fabbrini
Nationality: Italy
Date of Birth: 31-07-1991
Club: Empoli
Position: Attacking Midfield

Likely to join Udinese, a hotbed of developing talent, after being signed to a co-ownership deal last summer. Now a fully fledged under-21 international.
 
Ioannis Fetfatizidis
Nationality: Greece
Date of Birth: 21-12-1990
Club: Olympiacos
Position: Attacking Midfield/ Wing

One of Greek footbal's most promising talents. Only, 5'5, he joined Oympiacos aged 12 and they have sinced funded hormone growth treatment. Can play through the centre or out wide and has recently signed a five-year contract extension. Already a full international.
 
Fraser Fyvie
Nationality: Scotland
Date of Birth: 27-03-1993
Club: Aberdeen
Position: Centre Midfield
 
The youngest player to have played for the Dons and the youngest goalscorer in the history of the SPL. However, Fyvie sustained a serious injury in August and is not likely to return before summer.
 
Samuel Galindo
Nationality: Bolivia
Date of Birth: 18-04-1992
Club: Arsenal
Position: Playmaker
 
A tall, elegant prompter who made his senior international debut less than a year ago. Signed by Arsenal last January but has since been loaned to Salamanca. Impressed at the 2009 South American under-17 championships.
 
Mario Goetze
Nationality: Germany
Date of Birth: 03-06-1992
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
Needs no introduction to Bundesliga fans as his breakout season has gone perfectly to plan. A regular for Juergen Klopp’s side and a recent German international. Awesome potential which is already being delivered upon.

Antoine Griezmann
Nationality: France
Date of Birth: 21-03-1991
Club: Real Sociedad
Position: Winger
 
Honed his abilities in the Segunda Division with the San Sebastian club last season, playing a vital role in their promotion, and has been involved in every La Liga match this term. Featured at last summer’s under-19 European Championships.
 
Ilkay Guendogan
Nationality: Germany
Date of Birth: 24-10-1990
Club: Nuernburg
Position: Midfield
 
Blessed with fine technical skills and a keen eye for goal, the Nuernberg starlet has emerged as one of the Bundesliga's most talented playmakers. His senior international future is to be decided as he has been courted by Turkey.
 
Felipe Gutierrez

Nationality: Chile
Date of Birth: 08-10-1990
Club: Universidad Catolica
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
A diminutive playmaker who was summoned for senior international honours by Marcelo Bielsa.
 
Oussama Haddadi
Nationality: Tunisian
Date of Birth: 11-10-1992
Club: Club Africain
Position: Centre Back
 
The teenager turned heads with his athleticism and technical quality in a 2010 friendly with Olympique Lyonnais and is now a transfer target for a number of French sides such as OL themselves, AS Saint-Etienne, RC Lens, FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, RC Strasbourg and Monpellier.
 
Ehsan Hajsafi
Nationality: Iran
Date of Birth: 26-02-1991
Club: Sepahan
Position: Left Back
 
Though only 20, he is already the veteran of 28 international caps. He has been a crucial player for Sepahan with no less than 17 goals and 23 assists for the club. Possessed of a long throw to boot.
 
Eden Hazard
Nationality: Belgium
Date of Birth: 07-01-1991
Club: Lille
Position: Winger
 
At 20 he is a two-time reigning Young Player of the Year in Ligue 1. With great pace and technique, Hazard is a modern attacking midfielder in the mould of Franck Ribery. Reportedly lazy in training.

Kipré Tchétché Hermann
Nationality: Cote D’Ivoire
Born: 1995
Club: JCAT/ Al Hilal
Position: Striker
 
One of the youngest players in the Ivorian league rapidly became one of its biggest draws. Nicknamed the ‘Ivorian Wayne Rooney’ because of his lion-heart determination, strength, pace and bullet drives, he has recently signed with Sudanese powerhouse Al Hilal. Local pundits suggest that he could surpass the levels of Didier Drogba.
 
Abel Hernandez

Nationality: Uruguay
Date of Birth: 08-08-1990
Club: Palermo
Position: Striker

Tipped for the breakthrough in Sicily this season but has had his progress curtailed by injury. Quick and powerful.

Andile Jali
Nationality: South Africa
Date of Birth: 10-04-1990
Club: Orlando Pirates
Position: Midfield
 
Wise beyond his years, Jali plays with the experience of a veteran, while his youthful speed and deceptive strength allow him to dominate the middle of the park for Pirates and South Africa. Considered the future Pirates captain.
 
Ji Dong Won
Nationality: South Korea
Date of Birth: 28-05-1991
Club: Chunnam Dragons
Position: Forward

Has an impressive goalscoring record since bursting onto the K-League scene and is now pushing for full international recognition after being named in South Korea's AFC Asian Cup squad.
 
Phil Jones
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 21-02-1992
Club: Blackburn Rovers
Position: Centre Back/ Centre Midfield
 
Possesses the physical strength so often associated with Blackburn players but also has an adept football brain. Suffered a recent setback, having been ruled out for three to four months with a torn knee cartilage.
 
Rasmus Jonsson
Nationality: Sweden
Date of Birth: 27-01-90
Club: Helsingborgs IF
Position: Striker
 
Often compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, due to his height, he is similar to Ibra's slight frame at the same age. Netted the winner in the Swedish Cup final recently and is only going to get better. Learned his trade alongside Henrik Larsson.
 
Mathias 'Zanka' Jorgensen
Nationality: Denmark
Date of Birth: 23-04-1990
Club: FC Copenhagen
Position: Centre Back

One of the brightest Danish prospects, alongside Christian Eriksen. Zanka has gained plenty of Champions League exposure for Copenhagen this season and has also made his international bow. Once had a trial with Arsenal and is highly prized by clubs around the continent.
 
Juanmi

Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 20-05-1993
Club: Malaga
Position: Striker
 
The Spanish u-17 international burst onto the scene this season with two goals away to Zaragoza to become the youngest player in history to strike a double in a La Liga match. Has allegedly garnered interest from Real Madrid.
 
Mateo Kovacic

Nationality: Croatia
Date of Birth: 06-06-1994
Club: Dinamo Zagreb
Position: Attacking midfield
 
Only 16 years old but has already drawn comparisons with Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. His national under-17 manager has said that he has not seen a talent as natural since Robert Prosinecki.
 
Ahmed Khalil

Nationality: UAE
Date of Birth: 06-08-1991
Club: Al Ahli Dubai
Position: Forward

Has been part of the Al Ahli first team picture since the age of 16 and has been prolific in regional international football. Allegedly a target for then-Premier League side Portsmouth in 2009.
 
Carlos Labrin

Nationality: Chile
Date of Birth: 02-12-1990
Club: Hauchipato
Position: Centre Back

Part of Chile's highly regarded Toulon tournament winners in 2009 and is a fixture in the heart of defence at club level.

Alexandre Lacazette
Nationality: France
Date of Birth: 28-05-1991
Club: Olympique Lyonnais
Position: Winger/ Striker

Has begun to win first team minutes this season after an impressive apprenticeship at OL. A key member of the France under-19 European Championship winning team, Lacazette has remained with Lyon when most other aspirational talents are sent on loan. Telling.

Erik Lamela
Nationality: Argentina
Date of Birth: 04-03-1992
Club: River Plate
Position: Attacking Midfield

Strapping playmaker who could become a fixture in the national team in years to come. A subject of a transfer attempt from Barcelona six years ago.

Mathew Leckie
Nationality: Australia
Date of Birth: 04-02-1991
Club: Adelaide United
Position: Striker

This boy potentially has it all: power, technique and pace. He will surely secure an overseas move in the near future. Has the capacity to be a match-winner; his raw power and explosiveness make him a handful for defenders whether playing out wide or up front.
 
Adrian Luna
Nationality: Uruguay
Date of Birth: 12-04-1992
Club: Defensor Sporting
Position: Midfield

Made his Defensor debut last year and is an active member of the Uruguay under-20 side.

Lucas
Nationality: Brazil
Date of Birth: 13-08-1992
Club: Sao Paulo
Position: Midfield

A fast and offensive-minded midfielder who caught the eye of everyone during the 2010 Brasileirao. He can play in both wings and also in the centre. Brazil's 'next big thing'. After Neymar, that is.

Josh McEachran
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 01-03-1993
Club: Chelsea
Position: Midfield
 
Few players progress through the Chelsea youth system to become first-team regulars, especially English ones, with John Terry being the last, but McEachran is held in high-regard at Stamford Bridge. Gaining vital experience all the time and is a tough cookie with a good creative eye.
 
Nampalys Mendy
Nationality: France
Date of Birth: 23-06-1992
Club: Monaco
Position: Midfield
 
Guy Lacombe entrusted him at the start of the season and Mendy seized his chance in the Monaco first team. A prospect in the mould of M'Vila at Rennes. Dynamic, robust and strong Mendy is one to watch.
 
Aleksandr Merkel

Nationality: Belarus/ Germany
Date of Birth: 22-02-1992
Club: Milan
Position: Midfield

A product of the Stuttgart system, Merkel has yet to decide with whom his international allegiances lie. Impressed for Milan during pre-season when his endeavour and accuracy in the pass failed to go unnoticed. Cites Aleksandr Hleb as an idol.

Ryo Miyaichi
Nationality: Japan
Date of Birth: 14-12-1992
Club: Arsenal
Position: Attacker

Has just signed for Arsenal after impressing on trial. Damaged a knee in a trial game at Ajax and is not expected to feature for the Gunners this season.

Álvaro Morata
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 23-10-1992
Club: Real Madrid
Position: Striker

Morata plays as a forward and has progressed in leaps and bounds; having made his debut for Real Madrid Castilla only in August 2010, the 18-year-old has already started making appearances for the first-team. The teenager has impressed coach Jose Mourinho this season and has played for the Spanish giants in the Primera Division and the Copa del Rey.
 
Iker Muniain
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 19-12-1992
Club: Athletic Bilbao
Position: Attacking Midfield/ Forward

Perhaps a more recognisable name than the others, the Pamplona-born attacker is still only 18 years of age, and coach Joaquin Caparros has been careful in nurturing his development. Despite his age, he is closing in on 50 Primera Division appearances, and remains the youngest-ever scorer in La Liga.
 
Ahmed Musa
Nationality: Nigeria
Date of Birth: 14-10-1992
Club: VVV Venlo
Position: Striker/ Winger

Broke a 20-year scoring record in the Nigerian league with Kano Pillars before moving to Europe with Venlo. Has recently made his Super Eagles debut. Pace is his greatest asset.
 
Mateo Musacchio
Nationality: Argentina
Date of Birth: 26-08-1990
Club: Villarreal
Position: Centre Back
 
The former River Plate youngster has long been regarded as one of the Yellow Submarines' most promising talents, and he has not only successfully made the step up from the B team this season, he has became a first team regular, looking to be a composed, distinguished defender alongside the experienced Carlos Marchena.
 
Knowledge Musona
Nationality: Zimbabwe
Date of Birth: 21-06-1990
Club: Kaizer Chiefs
Position: Striker
 
The talented Zimbabwean striker is making waves in South Africa with Kaizer Chiefs, scoring frequently. His masterful finishing and the ease with which he turns defenders has caught the eye of many scouts; it seems to be only a matter of time before the 'Smiling Assassin' graces the pitches of Europe.
 
Mirahmetjan Muzepper
Nationality: China
Date of Birth: 14-01-1991
Club: Shandong Luneng
Position: Left Back/ Left Wing
 
Admittedly an uncommon name for a Chinese player but Mirahmetjan Muzepper is the first Uygur player from Xinjiang Province to feature in the Chinese Super League and national team. Discovered by China's biggest club Shandong Luneng in 2004. He is a skillful and speedy player who is also writing his own piece of history.
 
Andy Najar
Nationality: Honduras/ USA
Date of Birth: 16-03-1993
Club: DC United
Position: Midfield
 
The creative winger has pace and ball control, as well as the ability to take on defenders on his way to the goal. His skills for his club earned him 2010 Rookie of the Year honors in MLS.
 
Joel Chukwuma Obi
Nationality: Nigeria
Date of Birth: 22-05-1991
Club: Inter Milan
Position: Midfield
 
2010 was the year that Inter youth talent Joel Obi came into his own. He made his first appearance for the senior team as a sub in the 4-0 demolition of Werder Bremen in the Champions League and two weeks later made his Serie A debut against Cagliari. His first league start came against city rivals Milan. 2011 will be the year he makes his Nigeria debut.
 
George Odhiambo
Nationality: Kenya
Date of Birth: 08-07-1990
Club: Gor Mahia/ Randers FC
Position: Striker
 
A revelation for Gor Mahia. His offensive ability allowed Gor to fight for the Kenya Premier League. His talent was quickly recognised and a call to the national team for the 2010 Player of the Year was not long in coming. His glittering rise to prominence was capped when the 20-year-old landed a professional deal with Danish side Randers FC.
 
Sekou Jabateh Oliseh
Nationality: Liberia
Date of Birth: 05-06-1990
Club: CSKA Moscow
Position: Right Wing/ Striker
 
The best candidate in Liberia to replace the great George Weah in the affectionso of Lone Star supporters. Possesses the requisite qualities to upset any defence with direct running and accurate crossing a speciality.

Nelson Oliveira
Nationality: Portugal
Date of Birth: 08-08-1991
Club: Benfica (on loan at Pacos de Ferreira)
Position: Striker

With the relative lack of quality strikers in the country, many hope that Oliveira will develop into a killer player in front of goal. A product of Benfica's youth ranks, Oliveira has so far failed to establish himself at the Estadio da Luz, but his quality has earned him loan spells at Rio Ave and Pacos de Ferreira.
 
Yohandry Orozco
Nationality: Venezulea
Date of Birth: 19-03-1991
Club: Zulia
Position: Attacking Midfield/ Striker

Highly regarded young attacker with full international honours to his name.

Oscar
Nationality: Brazil
Date of Birth: 09-09-1991
Club: Internacional
Position: Midfield/ Striker
 
Tipped for greatness from a very young age at Sao Paulo, this skilful midfielder had problems with the club and ended up at Internacional. He was the best player of the Inter team that won the U-20 Brazilian championship.
 
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 15-08-1993
Club: Southampton
Position: Attacking midfield
 
The latest starlet set to emerge from the Saints production line, following in the footsteps of Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale. Having made his debut at 16, the youngster has already established himself in the first-team, starting 13 of his 21 games and scoring five goals.
 
Ivo Pekalski
Nationality: Sweden
Date Of Birth: 03-11-90
Club: Malmo FF
Position: Centre Midfield
 
Few teenagers turn down the opportunity to sign for a top English club but Ivo Pekalski is one. Offered the chance to join Liverpool at 15 he opted to remain in Sweden and has blossomed since moving to Malmo FF from Landskrona BoIS in 2009. Pekalski is one of many youngsters who established themselves in Roland Nilsson's starting XI which won the Allsvenskan in 2010.
 
Kyrylo Petrov
Nationality: Ukraine
Date of Birth: 22-06-90
Club: Dynamo Kiev (currently on loan at Kryvbas Kryvyi Rih)
Position: Midfield
 
Equipped with a calmness of mind that defies his years. As part of the Ukrainian under-19 squad that romped to victory on home soil in the 2009 European Championships, he made quite an impression, perpetually breaking play and acting as the calm origin of many of his side’s attacks. Has graduated from the under-19 squad to earn caps at both under-20 and under-21 level for his country but has yet to make the breakthrough at Dynamo.
 
Alan Pulido
Nationality: Mexico
Date of Birth: 09-03-1991
Club: Tigres UANL
Position: Striker
 
The captain of Mexico's Under-20 national team, Pulido is a dangerous goalscoring threat whenever he gets the ball. Debuted for the first team one day before his 19th birthday. Will be counted on to bring Mexico's under-20s success in 2011.
 
Jorge Pulido
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 08-04-1991
Club: Atletico Madrid
Position: Centre Back

Swift on the ground and more than keen to battle in the air, Pulido made his debut with the Atletico first team this season in the Copa Del Rey against Universidad de Las Palmas.
 
Gastón Ramirez

Nationality: Uruguay
Date of Birth: 02-12-1990
Club: Bologna
Position: Attacking Midfield

After having impressed in his homeland with Penarol, Ramirez made his way to Bologna last summer. Recently broke into the senior national team picture.

Nuno Reis
Nationality: Portugal
Date of Birth: 31-01-1991
Club: Sporting CP (on loan at Cercle Brugge)
Position: Centre Back

The maturing defender has been impressive since moving to the Jupiler League side on loan this season.
 
Rajko Rep
Nationality: Slovenia
Date of Birth: 20-06-1990
Club: Maribor
Position: Midfield

Recently signed to Maribor from NK Celje, where he was the club's youngest ever captain. Has become one of the hottest properties in Slovenian football.
 
Lorenzo Reyes
Nationality: Chile
Date of Birth: 13-06-1991
Club: Huachipato
Position: Midfield

Plays alongside Labrin at club level.

Dardan Rexhepi
Nationality Sweden
Date of Birth: 16-01-1992
Club: Malmo FF
Position: Striker

Malmo's title triumph in 2010 was heavily influenced by immigrant players, namely Agon Mehmeti and Jiloan Hamad, and Rexhepi, striker born in Kosovo, was one of the unexpected stars. He scored a goal and assisted another on his debut, in a top-of-the-table clash with Helsingborg, and never looked back. Technically outstanding and with a very good eye for a goal, Rexhepi is already being compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who started his career at Malmo.
 
Rodrigo Rios “Rodri”
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 06-06-1990
Club: Sevilla CF
Position: Striker
 
The Spaniard is proving himself adept at scoring vital goals even at this stage of his career. Netted the two strikes to win his side the Spanish Youth Cup aged only 17, he augmented his reputation at the tail end of the last Primera Division season. On the field for only 13 minutes against Mallorca, Rodri netted to provide his side with a place in the Champions League qualifiers.

James Rodriguez
Nationality: Colombia
Date of Birth: 12-07-1991
Club: Porto
Position: Winger

His breakout season has not gone exactly to plan at Porto since moving from Banfield but he remains a player of considerable talent. 'James Bond' has the power and trickery of a younger Cristiano Ronaldo.
 
Pablo Sarabia
Nationality: Spain
Date of Birth: 11-05-1992
Club: Real Madrid
Position: Left Wing
 
One of the most promising players to emerge of late from los Blancos' Cantera. A creative player who possesses the ability to pass his way through teams or utilise his dribbling capabilities. A consistent figure in Spain youth teams, he made his debut for Real Madrid this season, in the 4-0 victory against Auxerre.
 
Ahmed Sassi
Nationality: Tunisian
Date of Birth: 07-05-1993
Club: Esperance Sportive de Tunis
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
The left-sided 17-year-old  was awarded the best player tag at the Danone Nations Cup this year. Though slightly built, his ball shielding abilities have served him well thus far. Former coach Faouzi Benzarti even fielded him as a substitute in a Tunisian league game at the tender age of 16, making him the league's youngest ever player. At one of Africa's most highly regarded clubs for youth development.
 
Georgiy Schennikov
Nationality: Russia
Date of Birth: 27-04-1991
Club: CSKA Moscow
Position: Left Back

Promoted to the first team by Zico at the tender age of 17, Schennikov immediately showed his immense potential. With two full seasons at one of Russia's best teams already under his belt, current coach Leonid Slutsky has no doubt of his prospects, claiming in the summer: "He should be called up to the national team".
 
Harmeet Singh
Nationality: Norway
Date of Birth: 12-11-1990
Club: Valerenga
Position: Midfield

A box to box midfielder of Indian extraction, Singh impressed no less an onlooker than Pep Guardiola during a recent friendly between Barcelona and Valerenga.
 
Artur Sobiech
Nationality: Poland
Date of Birth: 12-06-90
Club: Polonia Warsaw
Position: Striker
 
Setting aside criticisms such as a bit of tactical naivety and a slight deficiency in muscle bulk you are still left with a talent that both club and country have every reason to get excited about. He strikes well off both feet - a quality that is endorsed by a strong scoring record in the Polish Ekstraklasa over the last year.
 
Heung-Min Son
Nationality: South Korea
Date of Birth: 08-07-1992
Club: Hamburger SV
Position: Attacking Midfield/ Wing/ Striker
 
The number one prospect in the youth ranks of die Rothosen. Has already played, and scored, in the first team and is regarded as the next Cha Bum in his homeland. One of Asia's most promising stars.
 
Frederik Sorensen
Nationality: Denmark
Date of Birth: 14-04-1992
Club: Juventus
Position: Right Back

Juve's problems at full-back, due to injury and form, have been quelled in recent weeks with the introduction of the Dane. Naturally a centre back, he is nonethless solid on the flank. This is his breakout season.
 
Emile Paul 'Zola' Tendeng
Nationality: Senegal
Date of Birth: 09-03-1992
Club: Casa Sports
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
Casa Sports assistant coach El Hadji Amadou Fall says, “He’s a soccer genius, a prodigy who plays like former Italian international, [Gianfranco] Zola, whom Tendeng carries the nickname already. In the history of Senegalese football, Tendeng brings to mind former player of Jaraaf, Mbaye Fall. He’s a kid with a tremendous potential.” Top scorer of the 2009-10 Senegalese league.
 
Aleksandar Tonev

Nationality: Bulgaria
Date of Birth: 02-02-1990
Club: CSKA Sofia
Position: Attacking Midfield

Has become a regular in the CSKA line-up over the past two seasons where his adaptability has seen him occupy a number of attacking positions. A regular at under-19 level for Bulgaria, he has taken the step up to under-21.
 
Takashi Usami
Nationality: Japan
Date of Birth: 06-06-1992
Club: Gamba Osaka
Position: Attacking Midfield
 
Japan's 2010 Young Player Of The Year has been involved with his club side since the age of 17. Has a keen eye for goal and a finely honed range of passing.
 
Sime Vrsaljko
Nationality: Croatia
Date of Birth: 10-01-92
Club: Dinamo Zagreb
Position: Right Back
 
No surprise that Dinamo’s young full-back has already attracted the attention of clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester United. This forthright defender is brimming with self-confidence and an eagerness to be involved in taking responsibility for his side.
 
Ante Vukusic
Nationality: Croatia
Date of Birth: 04-06-1991
Club: Hajduk Split
Position: Striker
 
Has made over 50 appearances for Hajduk, scoring an impressive 23 goals, despite his tender years. This season alone, Vukusic has scored 14 times in 25 appearances with four goals in eight continental matches. The most promising Hajduk prospect since Darijo Srna.
 
Connor Wickham
Nationality: England
Date of Birth: 31-03-1993
Club: Ipswich
Position: Striker
 
Much hype surrounds the 17-year-old forward. He has started 13 games for the Tractor Boys over the past two seasons, making a further 34 appearances from the bench, scoring six times. Wickham also played a pivotal role in England Under-17's Euro 2010 success, scoring three goals in the tournament, and the winner in 2-1 victory over Spain in the final.

Siyanda Xulu
Nationality: South Africa
Date of Birth: 30-12-1991
Club: Mamelodi Sundowns
Position: Centre Back
 
The defender has already been on trial at Arsenal and Barcelona, having displayed his ability at club level for Sundowns, while slowly breaking into the Bafana squad. His pace and ability to read the game at the back with confidence provide him with the skills to successfully transition to a European club.
 
Reinhold Yabo
Nationality: Germany
Date of Birth: 10-02-1992
Club: 1 FC Koeln
Position: Midfield

Captained the victorious German under-17 team at the European Championships. The squad also contained Mario Goetze. Has Ghanaian and Congolese parentage.

Pavel Yakovlev
Nationality: Russia
Date of Birth: 07-04-1991
Club: Spartak Moscow
Position: Winger/ Striker

Immensely talented, two-footed and a great dribbler, Yakovlev definitely has the potential to be one of the biggest stars of the next decade. His moodiness and occasional lack of professionalism is another matter, and he had some hard times at Spartak, with coach Valery Karpin sending him on loan to Samara for the second half of 2010 season.
 
Jose  Lopes “Zezinho”
Nationality: Guinea Bissau
Date of Birth: 23-09-1992
Club: Sporting CP
Position: Attacking Midfielder

At the age of 18, Zezinho is one of the most promising talents of the prestigious Sporting CP academy. He arrived at the club in the 2008/09 season, and has already won two league titles with the Lions' youth ranks. Although he is yet to have his shot with Sporting's senior squad, he already has two international caps to his name, both in the qualifiers for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations.

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