NxGn 2018: The best teenage XI in world football

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The winner of NxGn 2018 has been announced, but which teenagers born 1999 and later make up the most talented young team in the world?

  1. #1 GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA | AC MILAN

    After taking the top spot in the 2017 NxGn list, AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma continues to be the best young goalkeeper in world football. Despite just turning 19 in February, the Italy stopper has already featured over 100 times for AC Milan, and looks set to become Gianluigi Buffon's long-term successor at the international level.
  2. #2 DIOGO DALOT | PORTO

    With full-backs becoming some of the most prized possessions in the game, young left- and right-backs have become extremely sought-after. Porto's Diogo Dalot has only had a taste of senior football, mostly lining out for the side's B team as he gained experience, but has been a phenomenon at underage level for Portugal, being named in the team of the tournament at the 2016 European Under-17 Championship and then in the best XI at the U-19 competition a year later.
  3. #3 MALANG SARR | NICE

    A versatile defender, adept at playing at left-back and centre-back, Malang Sarr is a huge fan favourite at Nice, having come up through the club's youth academy. He helped them to a third-placed finish in his first season in Ligue 1, and has continued to develop into a commanding defender, who is strong in the air despite not quite being six foot in height.
  4. #4 MATTHIJS DE LIGT | AJAX

    Mattijs de Ligt became the youngest Netherlands international in almost 90 years when he lined out against Bulgaria in a World Cup qualifier, and amazingly had only played two league games for Ajax before making his Dutch debut. Since then, he has become a key figure in their backline, and is one of the most in-demand defenders in European football.
  5. #5 RYAN SESSEGNON | FULHAM

    Having had an excellent debut season with Fulham in 2016-17, Ryan Sessegnon went to the European Under-19 Championship with England, helping the Three Lions lift the trophy with three goals en route to the final. His second season in the Championship has gone even better than his first, earning the 17-year-old comparisons with Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
  6. #6 BRAHIM DIAZ | MAN CITY

    After featuring at 39 in the 2017 NxGn list, Brahim Diaz finds himself much higher in the rankings thanks to his progress at Manchester City. The Spain youth international made his Champions League debut for the Citizens in November, and has remained in Pep Guardiola's European squad through the knockout stages of the competition.
  7. #7 KAI HAVERTZ | BAYER LEVERKUSEN

    After featuring in Bayer Leverkusen's Champions League knockout round tie with Atletico Madrid in February 2017, Kai Havertz missed the second leg due to school examinations. Such was his prodigious talent, that he is Leverkusen's youngest ever player and youngest goalscorer, and his ability to support the attackers with clever play has earned comparisons to fellow German Mesut Ozil.
  8. #8 PHIL FODEN | MAN CITY

    One of the best ever Under-17 World Cup finals produced England's first ever world title at that age level, and also created a star of Manchester City teenager Phil Foden, who scored twice as the Three Lions came from behind to beat Spain 5-2. That was Foden's second silverware of 2017, having featured in the Carabao Cup final win over Arsenal just a few months earlier.
  9. #9 VINICIUS JUNIOR | FLAMENGO/REAL MADRID

    Vinicius Junior is already a Real Madrid player, but will remain in Brazil at Flamengo until after the 2018-19 season as he continues his development. Flamengo have been using the teenager sparingly in order to ensure that he is not overworked, and that has helped ease the burden on the winger that Madrid are hoping can live up to the 'next Neymar' tag.
  10. #10 MOISE KEAN | HELLAS VERONA/JUVENTUS

    Moise Kean made history as the first appearance-maker and goalscorer from the 2000s in Europe's 'big five' leagues, and has spent the last season at Hellas Verona on loan from Juventus to gain more match experience. The temporary deal has helped him get away from the spotlight in Turin as he develops his all-round game, becoming more than just a goalscoring forward.
  11. #11 JUSTIN KLUIVERT | AJAX

    Justin Kluivert has followed in his father's footsteps, coming up through the ranks at Ajax to become a key first team player. But, he has already gone one further than his old man, scoring a hat-trick for the Amsterdam giants, something Patrick never did in three seasons at the club. He is already being linked with some of Europe's elite clubs, and it would not be a surprise if he ended up being the second of the Kluivert family to win the Champions League.
  12. #12 BEST TEENAGE XI

    Here's how they line up...