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World Cup Stars: Up-and-coming talent to watch out for during Qatar 2022

There’s an exciting selection of young players making their way through the ranks and these are just a few of the names to look out for during the World Cup.


The most controversial World Cup of all time is underway and already we’ve had a couple of shock results. With both Germany and Argentina failing to get past relatively easy opponents, their futures in the tournament still hang in the balance.

This may well be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup and the Argentine genius will be keen to go out with a bang. Failing to get out of the group stage simply wasn’t even a consideration before the tournament began. 

Portugal made a better start with a narrow win over Ghana in their opening match. Cristiano Ronaldo opened his World Cup 2022 account with a penalty in the 65th minute. This could be the last time we see him on the world stage as well.

As we near the end of an era with some of football’s all-time greats preparing to bow out, it’s time for emerging talent to take their place. There’s an exciting selection of young players making their way through the ranks and these are just a few of the names to look out for during this tournament and beyond.

Musiala – Germany

Jamal Musiala is just 19 years old and already one of the most impressive young talents in the Bundesliga. He currently plies his trade for the German champions Bayern Munich and is enjoying his role as the first German teenager to star in the World Cup for nearly 70 years.

Some have already tipped the young attacking midfielder to become the next Messi but those are big boots to fill and the young lad has a long way to go.

Despite disappointing results so far in the competition, Musiala has already begun to shine and show what a huge talent he is.

Gavi – Spain

At just 18 years old, Pablo Gavira, also known as Gavi, is enjoying a bright start to the World Cup. Having featured in both of Spain’s opening matches, he already has a goal to his name, coming during their 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica.

Domestically, Gavi broke into the Barcelona first team last season making 34 appearances but only producing two goals. This season has seen him get on the team sheet 14 times. His call-up to the Spanish national team was a surprise for some but he’s already showing signs of why he was chosen to become the youngest player to ever represent Spain at a senior level.

Pedri – Spain

Another young Spanish star currently playing for the Catalan giants is Pedri. The central midfielder is only 20 years old but is already becoming a firm favourite at both club and international level. He has appeared in both opening matches so far at this tournament.

The international setup is slightly different for Pedri with Luis Enrique giving the player more time on the ball but in less of a goal-scoring and assisting position. It’s a transition that’s come fairly naturally to the youngster and he continues to do a sterling job for his team.

Gakpo – Netherlands

Cody Gakpo is a young Dutch sensation who plays for Eredivisie club PSV. At club level, he has been on the first-team team sheet for the last three seasons and this is his second tournament for his country, having been part of the 2020 Euros.

Gakpo spends most of his time out on the left wing, occasionally coming inside to fill more of a central attacking role. He’s fast with good feet and is able to take defenders on, making space for himself to get away a shot on goal. He’s been impressive so far this season back home with 9 goals from just 14 appearances.

Tchouameni – France

Aurélien Tchouaméni is starting to show real signs of promise in the French national side. And at just 22 years old, he’s already one of the most notable defensive midfielders at the competition.

He didn’t have the perfect start, proving to be a little elusive in their opening match against Australia. But he turned that around in the Denmark game, showing what a real talent he truly is. 

On a domestic level, he plays for Spanish champions Real Madrid and he’s still finding his way in the squad during his first season with Los Blancos.

Leao – Portugal

Rafael Leao is perhaps the most exciting striker to look out for at this year’s tournament. At 23 years old, the Portuguese talent is enjoying a fine run of form at AC Milan and is already gathering interest from Manchester United. His stock only looks to be going one way, having scored in his opening match against Ghana. And he will be hoping to impress in the upcoming fixture versus Uruguay.

Bellingham – England

Jude Bellingham has featured in both of England’s opening games and managed to get himself on the score sheet in their opener versus Iran.

He’s still only 19 years old but he’s already one of the first names on the team sheet for Borussia Dortmund each week. The midfielder has hit the back of the net three times for the German side this season. A lot of interest is beginning to grow in obtaining his future servicesmost notably from Real Madrid.

FIFA World Cup video games to feature future talent

The hugely popular FIFA video games regularly apply updates to the latest products, adding new and emerging talent just like the ones we’ve seen above. It won’t be long before fans will be able to add some of these players to their virtual teams of choice. And beyond the video games, there are also loads of incredible football-themed slot titles that take the concept of the beautiful game and turn it into a thrill-seeking production that has the ability to pay out cash prizes along the way.

There’s no shortage of places to play. You can compare slot sites here to find the best operator for you, then sit back and take your pick from titles such as World Cup Gold, Football Finals XUP, Firekick! MultiMax, Football Blast, Football Cash Collect and even Maradona D10S, which is named after one of the beautiful game’s biggest legends.

Software developers Yggdrasil are also running a ‘Football Fever’ promotion to coincide with the World Cup 2022. Players can play slots to climb a leaderboard for the chance to win a share of €50,000.

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