Within four years of every soccer world cup, newer and more talented football players are nurtured and introduced to the world. It’s not simple to rise from domestic leagues and championships to play the World Cup, the expectations from these new members are way higher. Their first performance will decide where their career is headed. So, without much dilly-dallying let’s take a look at the promising football talent we expect to see in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
9. Philippe Coutinho – Age 21 years
The young Brazilian midfielder is no surprise on the list. He stunned the critics with his stupendous accomplishments in the Premier League in Liverpool, over the past two years. Coutinho began his footballing career with Brazilian football club Vasco da Gama, and was selected for a €4 million with Italian Serie A giants Internazionale in 2008 when he was just 16. The young lad was under constant radar of several footballs clubs after his two marvelous seasons with the Italian club, but he was loaned to Espanyol and lured by Liverpool in 2013 for a £8.5m. Impressed with his unmatched passing ability and fantastic vision in the game, former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino ranked Coutinho with the names like Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho.
8. Adnan Januzaj – Age 19 years
The only thing most impressive for Manchester Untied this season is the emergence of Januzaj as a promising talent. Popularized by his number 44 jersey, Januzaj was brought to the Mecca of football from his previous club Anderlecht by Sir Alex Ferguson at the age of 16. Under the exceptional management of Ferguson, the impressive young teenager was promoted to the first-team and his debut on 11 August 2013 against Wigan Athletic. Honored with the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year for 2012–13 and Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup Golden Ball in 2013,Januzaj finally committed himself to the Belgian national team on 23 April 2014.
7. Paul Pogba – Age 21 years
Another midfielder on the list, but this time it’s Paul Pogba, the French who has impressed the soccer world with speedy skills and steady defensive abilities in his 62 appearances with Seria A champions Juventus in past two seasons. Pogba, who joined the premier league giants Manchester United’s after his departure from Le Havre in 2009, signed a four-year contract with Italian club Juventus on 3 July 2012 and scored his first goal in the Seria A in a 2–0 win over Napoli. Prior to his selection in the national squad for 2014, Pogba had already guided the under-16 French team and FIFA U-20 World Cup winning team in 2013 with a golden ball title to his name.
6. Stephan El Shaarawy – Age 21 years
Although, the Italian giants AC Milan haven’t been impressive this season, Stephan El Shaarawy is certainly the only reason fans should expect for a better campaign next time. Stephan began his early career at the age of 14 with Genoa and made his first team debut at age of 16, against Chievo. However, the teen was loaned out to Padova in 2010 and was signed by AC Milan on 25 June 2011. Moreover, the young lad has been really impressive ever since his U-16 selection in 2008 with four goals in 8 matches and scored three in five U-21 matches. Honored as the Serie A Young Footballer of the Year in 2012, Stephancites his fellow Milan playmaker Kaká as a role model and has already made 10 appearances for the Italian national team.
5. Thibaut Courtois – Age 22 years
The notable Belgian goalkeeper has certainly the most impressive record this season that helped Athletico Madrid clinch the Spanish tilted with most cleansheets in Europe this year. Currently, on loan from Chelsea, Courtois is certainly the preferred replacement of Czech Republic’s number 1 Peter Czech at Stamford Bridge. Courtois has several honors to his name like Belgian Professional Goalkeeper of the Year for 2011, La Liga Goalkeeper of the Year – 2013 and is the youngest goalkeeper to ever play for the Belgian national team. In the race to qualify for the world cup finals, the Belgian goalkeeper played every minute of the qualifiers and kept six clean sheets in ten matches.
4. Isco – Age 22 years
Isco, the Spanish attacking midfielder who currently wears the famous number 23 jersey in Real Madrid squad has gradually made his way from second division Valencia B to Valencia and then to Malaga to The Whites. Popular for his impressive midfield skills and creative thinking, the Spanish midfielder won the Golden Boy award in 2012, whipping out likes like Stephan El Shaarawy and Thibaut Courtois. Isco has been part of Spanish squad since 2008 with his remarkable debut in U-16 and has ever since has capped the national team in all major matches. Titled as the most promising young player in Spanish football by Marca journalist Pablo Polo, Isco already has 30 goals and 17 assists in his tally of 141 appearances.
3. Eden Hazard – Age 23 years
It’s because of players like Eden Hazard that the Belgium team can be considered as a potential candidate for the 2014 FIFA world cup. Ever since his arrival at Stamford Bridge in 2012, the Belgian attacking midfielder and winger has been really impressive in past two seasons with Chelsea. Nick named as little Messi by his former coach Claude Puel, Hazardis two times winner of UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year for 2010-11, 2011-12 and UNFP Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for 2008–09, 2009–10. Even compared to the names like Christiano Ronaldo, Hazard has an unmatched flair and tricky style of play that makes him the most outstanding talent in Europe right now.
2. Mario Gotze – Age 21 years
I guess, Carlo Ancelotti would have been as charming as Mario Gotze -the German Attacking midfielder from Bayern Munich. Gotze, who began his football career at the age of 8 from Dortmund’s youth academy made his Bundesliga debut on 21 November 2009, but made a shocking move to league rivals Bayern Munich in 2013. With his impressive league records, Gotze finally made his debut to the national team on 17 November 2010 and became the joint-youngest goal scorer for the German national team with his first goal against Brazil on 10 August 2011. Gotze won the Golden Boy Award for the year 2011 and scored four crucial goals for his national team in the qualifying rounds.
1. Neymar – Age 22 years
The Brazilian Striker, Neymar is known for his acceleration, speed, dribbling, finishing and ability. Neymar has scored 30 goals in his 47 international caps for the Brazilian team. Neymar, who began his football career with Santos FC and made his professional debut at the age of 17 years. After playing in the 2013 Confederations Cup, Neymar signed a contract with FC Barcelona and shared the platform with names like Messi, Iniesta and Pique. Honors like – Best Young Player of Campeonato Paulista -2009, Best player of South American Youth Championship -2011, South American Youth Championship Top scorer- 2011 and many more make the Brazilian striker our potential candidate to look out for this season.