World Cups are hypnotic, that’s why the business doesn’t stop growing. For a month, the eyes of almost all the inhabitants of the planet rest on him. The majority flashes will go to Lionel Messi and it is fair that it be so. There will also be discoveries, of course. In the World Cup, tactical systems that prevail for years or decades appear and footballers break in who later jump to the greats of Europe and build unexpected careers. They also amaze some juveniles that -for the moment- are not so well known.
Here Clarion puts the magnifying glass on five players under the age of 20 who can make people talk during the World Cup in Qatar 2022.
Pedro Gonzalez, Spain
It has a great virtue the 19 year old midfielder born Tegueste, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on November 25, 2002 and who has dazzled for a couple of seasons in Barcelona: he plays like a veteran.
He understands all aspects of the game and that’s why He can play in any of the midfield positions.
The figure of his brother Fernando, two years older, has been fundamental in his adaptation: he always sought to play with him, which is why he got used to competing with the greatest. After shining in neighborhood teams, Las Palmas tempted him to join his ranks. At just 16 years old, he made his debut in the First Division, when the team was in the Second category. During that time, he carried out a test at Real Madrid and they did not sign him because of his physical appearance. He did not doubt Barcelona and he disbursed 5 million euros in July 2020.
To understand how Pedri plays, it should be said that when he was a child his father played him videos of Michael Laudrup and that His idol is Andrés Iniesta.
Pedri arrives in Qatar with 93 appearances in Barcelona and 12 goals; he defended the Spain shirt 14 times.
“There isn’t a bigger talent in the world than Pedri. That’s why we have to pamper him. Mark the differences. It is what we have asked of him and he is doing it. He is a superlative player”, Xavi Hernández praised him. And in the culé cast they did not sleep: he has a contract until June 30, 2026 with a termination clause of 1,000 million euros, the highest in history for any player, including Messi.
Jamal Musiala, Germany
Musiala fits the same as his compatriot Thomas Müller: he is unsightly and it is even difficult to determine what he plays, but breaks it He was born in Fulda on February 23, 2003, but at the age of 7 he moved with his family to England. He was trained at the Chelsea academy, although at the age of 16, in July 2020, he decided to return to Germany to play for Bayern Munich.
At 17 years and 115 days, Musiala became the Bavarian club’s youngest debutant in the Bundesliga. He is a long-legged, awkward-moving attacking midfielder, but lethal in the definition and in the final pass. He can play as a second striker or as an inside midfielder.
Musiala is so good that until the last moment England and Germany disputed it. And it is that during his youth stage he defended both shirts, almost simultaneously. “It was a difficult decision. I thought about it for a long time. In the end I chose what I think is the best for me; Germany is the place where I feel most comfortable.”explained the midfielder.
Musiala accumulates 94 appearances in Bayern Munich with 23 goals; in Germany he celebrated once in 17 games.
“Jamal is a magician. He goes out on the field, has fun and does whatever he wants. Maybe the rest of us should go back to that interpretation of what the game was for all of us when we started. We play soccer because it’s fun. You can learn enough of his youthful ease”, Thomas Müller pampered him. “He has everything to become the next Neymar”added Lothar Matthäus.
Jude Bellingham, England
Of Bellingham, born in Stourbridge on June 29, 2003, it is enough to say two things: is the main objective of Real Madrid for 2023 and he is the only footballer mentioned by manager Gareth Southgate who is not a member of the Premier League.
Like Pedri and Musiala, Bellingham was transferred to a big club in July 2020. Borussia Dortmund shelled out 25 million euros for the 17-year-old who was marveling at Birmingham City. In the English cast, a club he joined at the age of 8, He made his debut at just 16 years and 38 days old and set a record.
In England, in the Championship, he played 44 games and scored 4 goals. He emigrated when he was only 17 years old, leaving a mark, to such an extent that the club decided to retire the number 22 shirt. Yes, the one Bellingham wore. “The number 22 has become synonymous with Jude and his promotion to the first team at just 16 years old. Therefore, the club has decided to withdraw his number to remember one of our own and inspire the rest, ”he warned.
Bellingham also played in all the England youth teams and there he met Jamal Musiala: they became inseparable friends. Qatar will now face them. But what is Jude playing? He is a mixed midfielder with an imposing physical build thanks to his 186 centimeters. He is aggressive to attack and intelligent to occupy defensive spaces. He bears a resemblance to former German player Michael Ballack.
Some numbers: in Borussia Dortmund he has 112 appearances with 12 goals, while in the English team he has accumulated 17 appearances without goals. Now we must add the one he did to Iran in his World Cup debut.
“Bellingham is a fantastic player. But he is a liar: it cannot be that he is so young. I saw how he asked for the ball when he didn’t have it, with what force he did it. A boy so young can’t do that”, praised Pep Guardiola, who also intends it for Manchester City.
Eduardo Camavinga, France
Eduardo Camavinga is the son of a refugee center. And it is that he was born on November 10, 2022, in Miconge, a commune located in the province of Cabinda, in Angola. His parents, Celestino and Sofía, of Congolese origin, arrived there, escaping from the war. At the age of two, the family emigrated to France and there Camavinga fell in love with soccer after flirting with judo.
“My family fled the war, so I was born in a refugee camp in Angola. My mother and father brought me to France in search of a new life.. I appreciate the opportunity to play football and am proud to do so as a former refugee. I hope that the millions of refugees who also love football know that we walk together.”Camavinga was able to explain.
And he added: “I had to escape from a war and that could have helped me. But above all, my family has helped me. When I play, I do it for them. All these problems have made me stronger.”
The ball was the language that Eduardo spoke in his early days in Fougeres, just 40 kilometers from Rennes, the city of the club -Stade Rennes Football Club- that signed him in 2003. It would be a year that would mark Eduardo’s life.
The French midfielder was able to tell that one afternoon his father went to look for him at school and took him home. I was completely burned. “You are the hope of the family. You are going to build the new house”Celestino told him. And he encouraged him to dedicate himself fully to football.
The rest is more or less known history: he is the youngest player to sign a professional contract at the institution, at the age of 16; he is the youngest to debut in First Division; he is the most precocious scorer; and he is the youngest international player with the French national team in the last 50 years.
For all this and several other things, Real Madrid paid close to 45 million euros to hire him in August 2021. His numbers are astonishing: with just turned 20, he accumulates 148 games in the First Division with 4 goals; in France, meanwhile, he scored a goal in 4 duels.
What does Camavinga play? He is a left-footed midfielder who moves through the center of the field and often lets himself loose to connect with attacking players. He is 182 centimeters tall and has good speed; it is graceful in handling and intense in pressure.
Antonio Silva, Portugal
If we talk about meteoric careers, António Silva’s should be well considered. It happens that due to multiple injuries to his teammates, the central marker made his debut in the Benfica first team on August 27 of this year and dazzled. He paired with Nicolás Otamendi and the accolades did not stop accumulating for this 19-year-old defender born on October 31, 2003 in Viseu. Since then, he was the undisputed starter and that is why the coach of the Portuguese team, Fernando Manuel Costa Santos, did not hesitate to take it to Qatar even though he just made his debut in the friendly before the World Cup, against Nigeria.
He is a large center marker, 187 centimeters, and remarkable play with his feet. Also, he has a lot of personality. Its market value is close to 60 million euros; Real Madrid and Barcelona set their sights on him. He has already completed 18 matches and scored 3 goals with Benfica.
“The truth is that six months ago I did not expect to be here, a lot has changed in my life, but Being here I will try to make the most of it”Silva explained a week after the start of the World Cup.
And he added: “I don’t know if I’ll play as a starter, but being among the 26 chosen, I’m an option. The National Team has high-quality players. Pepe has a great history in football; Rúben Dias and Danilo are players with a lot of experience. I try to learn as much as possible from them. I’m very young and what I keep will be very important to me in the future.”
Coach Santos also referred to the young talent. “If he was called up, it’s because I believe in him and I have full confidence. When it came to deciding on four central defenders, three were practically sure: Danilo, Pepe and Rúben Dias, unless there was a problem. And I watched many games of the rest in European competitions and the main ones in the League. In technical and strategic terms, I studied the options and also paid special attention to those who play defense with four. From what I saw in the most demanding matches, my choice fell on António, he could have another one came, but it was my choice. Now it’s up to him to prove it.”sentenced the DT.