Football fans around the world are looking forward to the 2018 FIFA World Cup which starts in Russia on 14 June. The international showpiece will play host to some of the best football talent from around the world.
Great players usually announce themselves on the toughest stage in the world and past editions of the World Cup has seen young players emerging from out of the shadows into the limelight.
There is no better place than the World Cup for young players to shine and raise their own stock. The event is watched by billions of people from across the globe and is seen as one of the very few items which span across all of humanity.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at five young players who have already made a name for themselves in their respective domestic competitions, but are as yet largely unknown to the wider world.
The players are not listed in any particular order.
• Sardar Azmoun (Iran) – Forward
The 23-year old has been labelled as the Iranian Zlatan and stands at an impressive 1.86m tall. He has scored 23 goals in 32 matches for his national side.
Experts say he is a complete striker because of his incredible burst of speed, creative way of thinking and aerial abilities. Azmouth is expected to play a pivotal role in Iran’s World Cup campaign.
• Kasper Dolberg (Denmark) – Forward
The 20-year-old lanky Dane has a fluid grace which has grabbed the attention of much of Europe. Dolberg is technically gifted and was instrumental in helping Ajax Amsterdam reach the final of the 2017 Europa League final.
He has only scored one goal for his country, but he has only appeared in the national side four times.
• Hirving Lozano (Mexico) – Winger
The 22-year-old was one of the instrumental players for Eredivisie champions PSV this season. Lozano scored 17 goals and 11 assists in 28 appearances.
He has been linked to a lucrative move to Arsenal and will be desperate to impress during the World Cup.
• Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia) – Central midfield
The 23-year-old is largely unknown despite being courted by Juventus and Manchester United. He is known as The Sergeant on the field because of his tough-tackling.
• Achraf Hakimi (Morocco) – Right-back
The 19-year-old has shown maturity beyond his years for his club side Real Madrid. He was the youngest player in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League. Hakimi has been resolute in his defensive play in a star-studded line-up.
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