After FIFA Picked Their Team Of The Year this Monday, we thought there is a need to pick our World XI, but only of Teenagers. These players have been compared to the greats of football and could probably be our next Messi’s and Ronaldo’s.
We have made a World XI comprising of only teenagers all across the world. The selection was based on achievements, possible potential and the ease with which these players broke through the first team squads for their respective teams
1. Goal Keeper : Stefanos Kapino (Panathinaikos)
It’s tough for a teenage goalkeeper to get a game at the top level, but at 6’6″ tall, Stefanos Kapino certainly has the physical attributes to play with the big boys.
The 18-year-old keeper made his debut for Panathinaikos in 2011 and has already won a cap for the Greek national team.
2. Right Back : Tomas Kalas (Vitesse/Chelsea)
Tomas Kalas was signed by Chelsea for £5.2 million in 2010 and was loaned for the 2011-12 season to Vitesse, where he has continued to play this term.The 19-year-old can play at centre-half or right-back and earned his first international cap for the Czech Republic against Slovakia last year.
He is a regular there and one of the main reasons Vitesse is trying for that Europa League spot for next season. In his 2 seasons there, he has made 55 appearances.
3. Centre Back : Matija Nastasic (Man City)
The Manchester City centre-back Matija Nastasic is still only 19 but has become the first choice center back for the Premier League Champions.
Having started his career at Partizan, Nastasic was transferred to Fiorentina, where he impressed sufficiently last season for City to make a multimillion deadline-day move for him. Nastasic was recently named as the club’s player of the month for November. He has also managed to keep the likes of Lescott and Kolo Toure on the bench and is already establishing himself as one of the top EPL center backs
4. Centre Back : Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
The versatile 19-year-old Raphael Varane can play at centre-back or in a defensive-midfield role. Starting his career at Lens in 2010, he was signed by Real Madrid for €10 million after his first season.
Varane is the 3rd choice Center Back after Pepe and Ramos. Yet,at the age of 19, being the first substitute center back for the greatest club in the history of football is a major achievement on anyone’s CV.
Varane made 15 appearances for Real last season and has been featured on 12 occasions already during this campaign, including five games in the Champions League.
5. Left Back : Jetro Willems (PSV)
The PSV defender, who started his career at Sparta Rotterdam, has already won eight caps for the Netherlands.
The 18-year-old left-back Jetro Willems was a surprise choice in the Holland squad for Euro 2012 and eventually played in all three of the group games, before his country was eliminated. He is currently the first choice left back for both his club and country.
6. Left Winger : Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
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Raheem Sterling was just 15 years old when Liverpool signed him from QPR back in 2010. And even at that age, Liverpool had to fight for his services from their bitter rivals Manchester United who were also favorites to sign him.
Making his debut last season, Sterling has cemented a regular starting berth under Brendan Rodgers, as well as making his debut for England and has dazzled with his inventive wing play. He’s been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to his pace and dribbling skills.
7. Central Midfielder : Paul Pogba (Juventus)
He controversially signed for Juventus from Manchester United angering Sir Alex Ferguson. It is now visible why Ferguson wanted Pogba to stay and why his services were so highly hyped up. United lack that strong physical presence in the midfield this season and Pogba has proven exactly why he can be the next midfield superstar.
In the current Juventus system he plays as the 2nd choice in the first pocket and is often a replacement for Pirlo whenever he is being rested. This has drawn major comparisons between the two though they are not very similar physically. Pirlo himself said he feels Pogba has the talent in him to reach great heights.
8. Central Midfielders : Juan Fernando Quintero (Pescara)
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Marco Veratti left the club to join French outfit PSG and many pundits and fans predicted that the team would be damaged deeply with the loss spark in the midfield. But Quintero, to the delight of his fans, proved them wrong. The 19-year-old Colulmbian playmaker has impressed in Serie A this season, having been signed for just €3 million.
Quintero has been mentioned among the more coveted players in European football by The Times of London. Manchester United, Juventus and Inter Milan are reportedly scouting this midfield talent.
9. Right Winger : Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has already achieved a lot for a 19-year-old, having become the youngest English scorer in the Champions League and winning nine caps for England.
Oxlade-Chamberlain played well enough in his debut season for Arsenal to be called up to England’s Euro 2012 squad. Linked with a move to bigger clubs, Ox is considered as the next England superstar.
10. Center Forward : Julian Draxler (Schalke)
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The most experienced teenager in our list, Julian Draxler an early-achiever. Upon making his debut for Schalke in 2011, he became the fourth-youngest Bundesliga player ever, and then a week later, he became the second-youngest player to start a game in the German top flight.
Now aged 19, Draxler has made 86 appearances for Schalke, in which he’s impressed enough to have been named in Germany’s provisional squad for Euro 2012. With three caps for his country already, the attacking midfielder looks like he’s set for the very top.
11. Striker : Romelu Lukaku (West Brom/Chelsea)
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Considered to be the perfect replacement for Didier Drogba, Lukaku is already a Champions League and FA Cup winner. After having a wonderful start to his career at Anderlecht, Lukaku was bought for a massive £18 million by Chelsea.
Now at loan to West Brom, Lukaku has scored 7 goals already and is a major reason for Brom to be over achieving this season.