Top 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers (2007)

Top 50 Most Exciting Teen Footballers (2007)


In football, nothing is more valuable than the wonderkid. Managers spent much of their time scouring the ends of the world for these rare gems. And that’s not the end of it, like a rare gem, the wonderkid needs to be polished and nurtured before it is ready for the world stage. In a sense then, he is the human equivalent of the Golden Chocobo.

In this month’s World Soccer magazine, they have compiled the ultimate manager’s buying guide featuring 50 of football’s brightest teenage stars. To make the ranking, a player must be under the age of 20.

Personally, I think it’ll be more interesting to see which one of these so-called “wonderkids” will end up being a majestic flop, like Denilson. I mean, you do remember Denilson, right?


Position Country
Sadick Adams, age 17 Sadick Adams Striker Ghana
Ismail Aissati, age 19 Ismail Aissati Attacking Midfielder Holland
Alexandre Pato, age 18 Alexandre Pato Striker Brazil
Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira, age 19 Anderson Attacking Midfielder Brazil
Giovani dos Santos, age 18 Giovani Dos Santos Attacking Midfielder Mexico
Gareth Bale, age 18 Gareth Bale Left Back Wales
Sergio Agüero, age 19 Sergio Agüero Striker Argentina
Bojan Krkić, age 17 Bojan Krkic Striker Spain
Breno Rodrigues Borges, age 18 Breno Defender Brazil
Gerardo Bruna, age 16 Gerardo Bruna Attacking Midfielder Argentina
Angel Di Maria Attacking Midfielder Argentina
Diego Buonanotte Attacking Midfielder Argentina
Franco Di Santo Striker Argentina
Macauley Chrisantus Striker Nigeria
Karim Benzema Striker France
Dumitru Copil Attacking Midfielder Romania
Fabio Left Back Brazil
Kermit Erasmus Striker South Africa
Fabio Coentrao Left Winger Portugal
Marouane Fellaini Midfielder Belgium
Guilherme Attacking Midfielder Brazil
Damian Ismodes Winger Peru
Lorenzo De Silvestri Right Back Italy
Nour Hadhria Midfielder Tunisia
Rabul Ibrahim Attacking Midfielder Nigeria
Kerlon Striker Brazil
Toni Kroos Attacking Midfielder Germany
Juan Manuel Mata Attacking Midfielder Spain
Lulinha Attacking Midfielder Brazil
Sapol Mani Midfielder Togo
Cristian Nazarith Striker Colombia
Ransford Osei Striker Ghana
Aaron Niguez Striker Spain
Daniel Opare Right Back Ghana
Fran Merida Midfielder Spain
Nikolay Mihaylov Goalkeeper Bulgaria
Mesut Ozil Attacking Midfielder Germany
Andrea Russotto Attacking Midfielder Italy
Renato Augusto Attacking Midfielder Brazil
Henri Saivet Striker France
Micah Richards Right Back England
Alexis Sanchez Winger Chile
Sergio Tejera Attacking Midfielder Spain
Marek Suchy Defender Czech Republic
Ivan Rakitic Midfielder Croatia
Abdou Traore Winger Burkina Faso
Carlos Vela Striker Mexico
Theo Walcott Striker England
Gregory Van Der Wiel Defender Holland
Ever Banega Midfielder Argentina

Kenny maintains a blog personal called “The Meditation Chamber

“Top 50” front image and player headshots by Marco Pantanella

Trouble at Anfield: the Battle of Benitez vs. Hicks/Gillett
Inter, Roma, Milan Through to the Next Round, Lazio Hanging on by a Thread (Champions League Matchday 5)


  1. One name not on this list who may become a top prospect is Jozy Altidore (USA/New York Red Bull). He featured at the U-20 World Cup for the USA, and had a very good season with New York in MLS.

    Last week, he received his first cap at the senior level during a friendly in South Africa.

    Here is a video clip of him versus Brasil at the U-20:

    Freddy Adu (Benfica) has received most of the publicity and notoriety; however, in my opinion, Altidore is quite mature for his age (18), and has a combination of physical and technical capabilities rarely seen in North American players.

  2. gareth bale #6 wtf no way hes better than bojan or aguero and walcotts been under rated

  3. To those commenting on individuals’ positions…having read the magazine, from what I can see they aren’t rated in terms of who is better than the other. It’s not a countdown from 50 to number 1. It’s just a list of fifty, seemingly in no particular order.

  4. This is not ranked in the magazine. There is no ranking, it simply the 50 best without in any kind of order so this article is rather misleading.

  5. Yeah chill fellas, it’s not in order of merit.
    However, I’m a abit miffed that Giovinco is not included. Is he too old?

  6. arsa, Nani is 21 or 22…

    It is funny England blame the lack of youth talent on their failures when the two cauntries have the same number of players on that list + Richards is a national team regular.

    Also funny how Argentina – who has the best national team – has the most number of players on that list. Most of them I know too and have to admit that they are bloody amazing.

  7. Out of the whole list I’ve only seemed to notice one goalkeeper so another two worth looking out for who played important roles in this years under 17 world cup are Oladele Ajiboye (Nigeria) and David De Gea (Spain). Both have steady nerves and sharp reflexes

  8. Just 1 goalkeeper in the whole list? It’s a shame to see that there are not many goalkeepers in the list…

  9. Good all round list of players – as stated the order sucks! But as an unordered list I couldn’t fault it much. What about Michael Johnson at Citeh? He looks promising!

  10. Nice to see one of my own (Rakitić) on the list. Why are there no ages for players 11-50?

  11. Fábio Coentrão? Is a flop! That list was made thinking on the performances on the Under 20 World Cup. Portugal has a lot of players way better than Coentrão who didn´t went to the World Cup. Who como Inter’s Pelé is not here?

    Benzema only 15th? They most be joking!

  12. Rhys Murphy should be on there. Scored 17 goals in 21 games for the Arsenal Under 18s last season. Whilst we’re on Arsenal youth players worth mentioning Rui Fonte, Nacer Barazite, Havard Nordtveit, Henri Lansbury and Kieran Gibbs.

  13. A player who will make it in the future is Dean Bouzanis, an Australian goalkeeper in Liverpool. Was rated at the start of the year by Benetiz and the Liverpool GK coach, as the best goalkeeper under 18 (and he only turned 17 in October).

    He is the reason why Liverpool are going to sell Carson but another Liverpool keeper is actually on this list.

  14. gareth bale is one of the promising young talents. anderson fully representing dos santos and borjan also players to watch.

  15. As Sean says I don’t think the list was meant to be in numerical order.

    Good article tho, a few of these players may not fulfill their potential, but even if only half of them do, then the future’s bright.

    Richards’ is going to be huge!

  16. sotirios ninis from panathinaikos should be on this list.
    he is truly a special player,just turned 17…

  17. one english guy in the whole list!!
    whats to follow the “golden” generation i wonder :)

  18. Where is Modric? Is he too old? His 22. Rossi? His 20 like Benzema! I saw Anderson there so what about Nani? His 21..maybe thats a littl to old..and i saw fabio man uniteds future left back frm barzil but what about his twin brother which man united also signed who plays at right back?

  19. Where is Denilson someone asks…LMAO i wonder why his NOT on da list haha..isnt it obvious =P Umm it says teen’s so maybe dats why rossi nd modric nd nani isnt on da list but what abt benzema? his 20 rite? so how is this a list of teens den? nd ppl merida is on da list at 35 i think!

  20. why isint, rizwan khan there.. a good player with lots of skill
    he got a dodgy hair cut though

  21. i no i m a bit late but really y ain’t dani parejo there??? or the callejon brothers.this list sucks

  22. adams #1, i admit is a good player, but doesn’t deserve to be at the top of the ranking with players like aguero and bojan in the list. Lulinha and Ever Banega shouldn’t be where they are, they should be in and around the top 10 to 15. Can’t believe that Jozy Altidore is not in the list, e is absolutely awesome.

  23. feyernoods wijnaldum should be on the list also fabio’s bro rafael silva, forestieri, remy, bradley johnson and where the hell is nasri?

  24. Good young players are Ever Banega, Hernanes, Ochoa, Gareth Bale, Paloschi, Balotelli, Benzema, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Eduardo, Ben Arfa, Lulinha, Renato Augusto, breno, Toni Kroos, Christantus, Diego Buonanotte, Marek Suchy, Martin Fenin, Akinfeev, Diego Capel, Mihaylov, Ismael Aissati, Mauro Zarate, Yoann Gouffran, Gabriel Obertan, Daniel Opare, Sadick Adams, Thiago Neves, Lionel Messi, Carlos Alberto, Antunes, Cesc Fabregas, Leandro Lima, Andel Di Maria, Tulio De Melo, Dias Felipe, Tiago Luis, Theo Walcott, Franco Di Santo, Arturo Vidal, Alexandre Pato, Aquilani, Anderson, Pique, Carlos Vela, Albin Ekdal, Mezut Ozil, Rodrigo Possebon, Pablo Ledesma, Leandro Grimi, Abdou Traore, Miguel Veloso, Gerardo Bruna, Giovani Dos Santos, aaron niguez, Micah Richards, Juan Manuel Mata, Samir Nasri, Nathan Burns, Freddy Adu, Fabio Coentrao, Luka Modric, Denilson, Dumitru Copil, Fellaini, Fran Merida and of course the extreme talent of Bruno Gama (Vitoria SC, Portugal), Kerlon (Cruzeiro, Brazil), Ivan Rakitic (FC Shalke, Croatia), Alexis Sanchez (River Plate, Chile), Bojan Krkic (FC Barcelona, Spain) and Jeremy Menez )AS Monaco, France).

  25. CESC FABREGAS …CESC FABREGAS !!??where is he ? is he dead ? He’s definetly n*1 then i’d say bojan Krik and then LuKa modric n*3 Then karim Benzma For fourth place , Alex Pato as n*5 and then theo walcott as the n*6….Well that’s what I think anyway…

  26. Dude, cesc fabregas is too old. Although he’s a great player:P
    look what the title says: most exciting TEEN footballers

    and about the order of the list. It’s almost alphabetical, but there are some exceptions….. quite odd…

  27. he’s not too old . He’s 20 years old … why is Yoann Gouffran on he list then ? he’s 20 years old…

  28. What about the Chelsea Striker Ben Sahar. He was capped for Israel at the age of 17. Also the midfielder on Barcelona, Assulin, who was capped by Israel at the age of 16! they are both future superstars!

  29. Dumitru Copil is not good enough for top 16, I’m sorry but the kid has the worst mentality in the world, is a flop since the second he went to scotland and is returning to romania right now…
    Nevermind they found this kid in liga 4 in Romania.

    Gabriel Torje who is 18 years old should be in there, you’ll see him in the UEFA CUP next season. And also should be there is Gai from Barca.

  30. sign wijnaldum when your are in you 2009/2010 season very very helpful i play him for inter milan in the centre

  31. This list is nothing but ridiculous. Aissatti above Pato? I’ve seen Aissati this entire season and he hasn’t showed ANYTHING.

  32. Kermit Erasmus is gonna be big! Going to Feyenoord. Benzema is defenately one of the best on this list.

  33. Yoann Gourcuff is a flop. Bojan shud be first on the list hes only 18 and is already playing in the team regulary.
    Sadik Adams shudn’t be #1 cus he plays in ghana were nobody’s ever seen him

  34. lol. Do you people listen. 2 minutes I’ve been reading the comments, and I’ve already seen 3 different people who have stated that the list is in no particular order, so why are you guys still arguing about positions?

    Anyways, that list is excellent. That Diego Buonanotte could be a real star. Understandably, England hardly have any stars, so if Theo Walcott is the only one that could make the list, the future isn’t bright. Some people don’t deserve to be there, Kerlon and Contreao are just showboaters.

    The list could do with an update, but most is looking decent

  35. Robbie Brady, man utd just turned 16 amazing already called the next george best, watch out for him

    Also a mention to Conor Clifford at Chelsea

  36. not sure how old these comments are but in oct 2008 this list needs to be updates. Jack Wilshere form arsenal should be there. hes only 16 but has already played for the first team, and dont forget that Arsen Wenger is the coach.
    Denilson should also be there (also from Arsnel) he is a first team regular for arsenal and is paired with Fabregas so that should count for something

  37. John Fleck – Rangers.
    Acquafresca – Inter Milan.

    Adam Pepper – Liverpool.
    Paul Caddis – Celtic.

  38. Firstly, has any of you guys watched Kerlon play before? He is unbelivable!! I can’t believe some people have been slating him!! Everytime i watched him play for Cruzeiro he was their best player by miles!! By the way, Abdou Razack Traore of Rosenborg, is fantastic and will be huge. But he’s from The IVORY COAST (Not Burkina Faso, like this list says!!). My team Newcastle United, has many great young players, like: Kazenga LuaLua (Lomana LuaLua’s younger Brother, he is going to be class!!), Wesley Ngo Baheng, Nile Ranger, Sammy Ameobi (Shola’s Brother), Fabio Zamblera, Tim Krul, Sebastian Bassong (Good player!) and also Tamas Kadar. Charles N’Zogbia is class and will play regular for France in the near future.

  39. how could they forget Bruno Gama of Portugal and on-loan from FC Porto he is massively talented also alberto paloschi and mario balotelli will be huge in a couple of years

  40. Fabio is there but his twin brother Rafael isnt, also Fernando Forestieri…Where is he?

  41. ADEM LJAJIC(PARTIZAN) AND DANIJEL ALEKSIC(VOJVODINA) U-19 SERBIA, REMEMBER THOSE NAMES! Ljajic is linked with Man Utd and Real Madrid and Aleksic is 16-17 but allready plays for u-21 serbia!

  42. I’m glad that aissati is there, he’s a great player! Benzema should be on the list, walcott is outstanding. Right now the best is Messi, although he’s 21. But it’s a good list.

  43. Anybody seen Denilson play this season for Arsenal ? that’s why he is not on the list
    He’s been awfull

  44. how can you have Fabio (brazil left back) and not his twin brother Rafael who play exactly the same

  45. Every player from Sporting CP under-21 team should be on this list!!!

  46. sotisris ninis atter mid rigth center. age 17 greece panathanikos
    2oscar trejo striker . age 19 mallorca argintina / italy
    3Marvin Angulo defender/wing bk/midfield right.age 20 club herediano costa rica
    4toni kroos amc germany.age 17 fc bayern munchen
    5ryndell poepon 19 ducth ajax amc / st
    6georginio wijnaldum amrlc ducth 16 feyenoord
    7steven jovetic 17 amc / st partizan montengro
    8johnny evans 19 dc n ireland man united
    9breno dc 17 fc bayern munchen brazil might need a work permit
    10mario balotelli 16 inter milan italy
    11 karmin benzema st age 19 lyon france
    12 guilherme amc/st age 18 cruzeiro fc brazil work permit neeeded
    13 kerlon amc/st 19 cruzeiro fc brazil work permit needed
    14bernando mc 17 cruzeiro fc brazil work permit needed
    15adrien mc 18 sporting cp portugall
    16joao moutinho 20 amc sporting cp portugall
    17krisztian nemeth 18 st liverpool hungary
    18anderson 19 amc man united brazil work permit might need 1
    19zdravko kuzmanovic mrc serbia fiorentina my need work permit
    20genero zeefuik 17 st ducth psv
    21 micheal johnson 19 mc england man city
    22rhys murphy 16 st england arsenal
    23james dunne 17 england arsenal
    24necar barazite 17 ducth arsenal
    25ched evans 19 st wales man city
    26pavel komolov 18 russia amc zenit peterburg
    27lubos kalouda 20 czech republic amrc fc kobenhavn
    28Nickola 1Matek 7 serbia ofk beogard goal keeper
    29dioniso 19 dmc brazil santos wp needed
    30 bruno neves 18 dmc brazil bahia wp my neeeded
    31Jean Paul Pineda Age: 17 at start Club: Palestino my need wp chilli
    32 john joe o toole 18 english club watford mybe next carrick

  47. the player should be on the list:

    1.Fabian Delph(England)(Aston Villa)
    2.Alex Kacaniklic(sweden)(Liverpool)
    3.Davide Santon(italy)(internazionale Milan)
    4.Steven Defour(belgium)(Standard Liege)
    5.Lewis Holtby(Germany)(fc Schalke 04)
    6.Marc Muniesa(spain)(barcelona)
    7.Nicolas Lodeiro(uruguay)(nacional)
    8.Nikola Saric(denmark)(Liverpool)
    9.Daniel Aquino(spain)(real murcia)
    10.Vurnon Anita(dutch)(Ajax Amsterdam)

  48. I believe Nafiu, should b included in d list, a budding star for d future of Nigerian soccer, cos his simply amazing, believed to b d next big thing in Nigerian football

  49. Rafael Pereira Da Silva ( Fabio Pereira Da Silva’s Twin Brother) Should be on there, brilliant player.. also Nicklas Barkroth .. the Flano twins are also good player – and the Bender twins.

  50. I am happy with d inclusn of rabiu ibrahem bcs he’s going higher like master(almighty mikel)

  51. Where is nigeria azeez and emmanuel both are 3rd and 1st in the last u17 tornmt

  52. U people are sentimental,bcs mikel turns 22 by 2010 & he’s chelsea’s best young player and instead of anderson why not ds small wizard and u shouldnt 4get babel

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