World football: Under-21 XI

Mario Gotze, Lucas Moura & Jack Wilshere rank amongst the best footballers in the world aged 21 or under

Sohaib Junaidi
Published 04/29/2013 10:57 by Sohaib Junaidi, read by 3,639 people.

The game of football is blessed to have some exceptionally talented footballers coming through the youth ranks at clubs across the world.

Here is a world Under-21 XI.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois | Atletico Madrid

The Chelsea loanee is considered one of the best young goalkeepers of the world and his two seasons at Atletico testify to the fact.

He helped the club win the Europa League last season and has helped maintain one of the tightest defences in La Liga this season. The top European clubs are monitoring his situation but Chelsea are unlikely to let go of the talented stopper. 

Right-back: Mattia De Sciglio | AC Milan

Sciglio has been one of the shining stars for the Rossoneri and his performances have made him a huge fan favourite. Critics have earmarked him to become a legend for the club and have compared his performances to the legendary Paolo Maldini.

Centre-back: Matija Nastasic | Manchester City

Nastasic has surprised everyone with how well he has taken to life in the Premier League given his relatively tender age. He has been a calming influence at the back for last season's league champions.

Centre-back: Raphaël Varane | Real Madrid

Varane, like Nastasic, has displaced senior players at the club to make the central defensive position his own. His tackling and positional play have been amazing and he looks set to serve Real Madrid for many years to come.

Left-back: Luke Shaw | Southampton

The Southampton academy has been responsible for producing some of the best British talents in recent years. Luke Shaw is one of the new faces to come out of the academy and his pace trickery and maturity has impressed everyone. There is talk of a bid from Chelsea who see him as the replacement for Ashley Cole.

Right-wing: Lucas Moura | PSG

The Brazil international is one of the hottest players to have come out of the Samba nation to Europe. He helped his Sao Palo team to the league title before moving to PSG in France. He was also very impressive for PSG in the league and Champions League.

Centre-midfielder: Jack Wilshere | Arsenal

Jack Wilshere has impressed whenever he has pulled on an Arsenal shirt. His performances in his first full season at Arsenal helped him get the national call-up.

Unfortunately he missed the next season through injury but his return back has suggested that he is here to stay at the very top for both Arsenal and England.

Centre-midfielder: Oscar | Chelsea

Oscar has had a good start to his career at Chelsea and looks set to be part of the setup for years to come. In Europe he had an immediate impact scoring twice on his Champion league debut against Juventus. He has also been called to the senior Brazilian side and looks set to take part in the World Cup for the Samba nation. 

Left-wing: Christian Eriksen | Ajax

The Ajax academy product has been one of the hottest properties in Europe, and his creativity and attacking prowess has been lauded. Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund have shown interest in the Danish international and he looks set to move this summer.

Attacking midfielder: Mario Gotze | Borussia Dortmund

Gotze is one of many exceptionally talented players to have come out of Germany in recent years. The player was reported to have been priority signing for Arsenal and Manchester United but Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have signed the player after activating his release clause.

He is considered one of the key components of the Borussia Dortmund side that has impressed everyone with its attacking fluidity and work ethic. 

Striker: Romelu Lukaku | West Brom (on loan from Chelsea)

The Belgian has had a great season with the Midlands outfit and have helped them finish in the top half. He has impressed with his goals and hold-up play and will be one of the most feared strikers in Europe in a couple of years.

He is also the third player on this list that is on the books of Chelsea, which bodes well for the Blues.


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