The 2018 FIFA World Cup is here, and that means we’ll be seeing the world’s best sides and the game’s biggest stars go head-to-head to see who comes out on top; however, there will also be some youthful talent unearthed during the tournament, and we’ve rounded up the 5 young-faced stars that you need to keep an eye on.
Gonçalo Guedes (Portugal)
Portugal has a thing for crafty and gifted wingers, so Guedes has a high standard he’ll be judged by if he’s going to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Figo or Ronaldo. If his past season at Valencia is anything to go by, though, the 21-year-old is busy moving in the right direction quite quickly. He got 9 goals and 10 assists in all competitions last season, and is likely to be a great asset to the current European Champions who will have their sights set on giving this World Cup a good go.
Marco Asensio (Spain)
The new kid on the block that’s quickly making a name for himself is Marco Asensio. The 22 year old Spaniard that has returned to the capital after a few short loan spells in the previous two seasons. His main attributes are his pace and confident dribbling ability, and his ability on the ball is not unlike current Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo, apart from Asensio preferring to smash in long-rangers with his left rather than his right.
Ousmane Dembele (France)
Barcelona’s replacement of Neymar with Ousmane Dembele seemed like a move for the future, but the French attacker has made waves whenever he plays. At 21-years-old he’s still learning his trade, but his ridiculous acceleration and ability to deliver quality crosses and shots with both feet will likely mean he gets selected quite often in the starting eleven. France are in with a decent chance to go far in this World Cup due to their hugely talented squad – and if guys like Dembele and Kylian Mbappe have outstanding tournaments, then Les Bleus shouldn’t be ruled out for a spot in the final.
Alex Iwobe (Nigeria)
Nigeria and Egypt will be the two teams to watch that will do Africa proud, but one of the youngest in the Super Eagles squad has a good pedigree that can help them at a tournament of this level. Having played at Arsenal for the last few years, he’s broken into their first team and shown impressive attacking displays, being surprisingly comfortable carrying the ball forward with decent speed and showing a knack to convert chances. Iwobe and fellow Premier League forward Kelechi Iheanacho are Nigeria’s bright young talents that will be looking to shine in the biggest national competition around.
Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
The bookies have Brazil down as being odds on to win this competition – and while they’ve got a wealth of talent in the form of Neymar, Coutinho, Marcelo, and Firmino – it’s Gabriel Jesus that’s talked about most when it comes to their rising stars. Having just won a Premier League title with Manchester City, the striker will be looking to continue his success for his national team, too. Having some of the game’s best creative players around him will only increase how lethal he is in the box. He got an impressive 19 goals in all competitions, getting a return of 13 in the Premier League despite only starting 19 games. This shows he’s good not only as a starting option, but he can make an impact off the bench, too.
Who are they players you’re most excited to see pull on their country’s shirt in the 2018 World Cup – and can Brazil add a sixth cup to their packed trophy cabinet? Let us know below or on Facebook orTwitter!