The World cup is without a doubt the biggest stage in football. It provides the perfect opportunity to showcase talent and to make your name known globally. This article will look at five teenagers who you should keep an eye on at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Teenagers to keep an eye on at the 2022 World Cup
Teenagers to keep an eye on at the 2022 World Cup
Hannibal Mejbri – Tunisia, 19 years old
Manchester United academy graduate Hannibal Mejbri is mostly known for his ten-minute rampage cameo in a 4-0 Loss to Liverpool at Anfield last season. The Tunisian midfielder is now on loan at Birmingham City and he has started to showcase his ability in the EFL Championship.
Tunisia will play in Group D at the 2022 World Cup, competing against Australia, and European giants Denmark and France who are strong favourites to dominate the group. This will be a huge test for the Tunisia side and Mejbri will hope to hold his own against the opposition.
A huge lack of discipline and experience may cost the youngster a place in the starting XI, however, he has the technical ability to help his side as an impact substitute. If the 19-year-old is able to contain his emotions, then the World Cup will be a huge opportunity to show Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag why he should be in his plans for next season.
Xavi Simons – Netherlands, 19 years old
Xavi Simons has been tipped to become on of the best players in Europe for years. The 19-year-old formerly of Barcelona and PSG, recently signed a five-year deal with Dutch giant PSV where he was able to finally showcase his talent after multiple seasons of minimal opportunities. The Teenager has started every game for Ruud van Nistelrooy's side, accumulating an impressive eight goals and three assists in 14 appearances.
This will be Xavi Simons’ first call-up to the Netherlands senior squad, and there is not a bigger stage than the World Cup to make your international debut. The attacking midfielder will be hoping to link up with PSV teammate Cody Gakpo, who has been the most in-form player in world football this season.
Although Gakpo will take Simons role in the Dutch starting XI, Xavi has shown his versatility which could see him get more minutes than expected, especially due to the lack of depth and quality in the Netherlands attack.
Youssoufa Moukoko – Germany, 17 years old
The Youngest player set to feature at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko.
The left-footed striker has led the line for Borussia Dortmund this season, after new signing Sebastian Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Moukoko has stepped up in the absence of the Ivorian, scoring six goals and registering three assists in eight Bundesliga starts.
Multiple outstanding performances at club level and an ankle injury to former Chelsea forward Timo Werner, meant that Moukoko earned his first call-up to the senior squad. The electric forward provides a similar style of play to Werner, which can be used when the false nine approach of Kai Havertz or when the traditional number nine style of Niclas Fullkrug isn’t working for Hansi Flick.
Dortmund’s number 18 got his first 45 minutes In the senior Germany side on Wednesday in a friendly vs Oman. Unfortunately, he was unable to get on the score sheet, but he did display signs of quality, hitting the post with a low strike after showing great composure in the box.
Jude Bellingham – England, 19 years old
Birmingham City’s youngest-ever first-team player Jude Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund in 2020. Since his move to the Signal Iduna Park, the 19-year-old has been moulded into an incredible midfielder, with comparisons being drawn to the best midfielders in world football. Although almost every football fan is already aware of Bellingham, the World cup will provide him the opportunity to take the next step in his career.
The England international has been unplayable for Dortmund this season, especially in the UEFA Champions League. He has become the youngest UCL captain to score and the third youngest player ever to captain his side in a UCL game. He has also developed a habit of scoring important goals, with four goals and one assist in five UCL games this season, indicating that he can provide an extra edge to England’s attacking approach.
With England teammate Kalvin Phillips only just returning from injury, Jude Bellingham seems set to make his World Cup debut in a tough game against Iran on Monday afternoon. England will have aspirations of winning the trophy, following a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and a Euros Final in 2021. If the Three Lions are to go far in the tournament, then Jude will have a huge role to play.
Jamal Musiala – Germany, 19 years old
Jamal Musaila has been incredible for Bayern Munich this season. If the young attacking midfielder can continue to produce performances like he has so far, then he will become one of the best players in the world in the future. England fans will no doubt be frustrated watching Musiala for Germany this winter, as he represented the Three Lions at U15 level, all the way to the U21s.
Having worked with Hansi Flick at Bayern Munich, the 19-year-old will have a role in Germany’s midfield and he seems to be the long-term replacement for 33-year-old Thomas Muller, who has previously shone for Germany at the 2010 and 2014 World Cup.
The dynamic midfielder has accumulated 9 goals and 6 assists in 14 Bundesliga appearances this season, which is the highest in the league for combined goals and assists. It is also the fifth highest across Europe’s top 5 leagues, only behind Haaland, Neymar, Messi, and Lewandowski. However, Musiala has only registered one goal for Germany and he will be hoping to increase his tally in Qatar.