In the past decade, fans have been seeing a golden age of football. They have seen legendary players such as Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Kaka, Puyol, Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer and much more play. The icing on the cake is that Messi and Ronaldo have been playing and dominating this era. But many of those great players have retired now. Others are nearing the end of their careers. Hence, it is important to look forward to the future of the game.
There are always new great players to take over the game. It is unlikely that we will ever see anyone match the greatness of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But that does not mean there will not be legendary players still. The following are the best young players in attack, midfield, and defence. The defence has both goalkeepers and outfield players. The players that are being considered have to be under 25.
Best Young Footballers: Defense
This is a tough list to choose from because there are many great players staking their claim. There is no obvious winner but Trent Alexander Arnold has definitely made a name for himself. He is a typical modern full-back. He adds great attacking threat, and has the most assists by any defender this season. While he has some defensive problems, he is able to use his physicality to make up for it. He is also only 21 and has great room to improve.
Easily, the best young goalkeeper is Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Milan goalkeeper is only 21 but has been dominant for over 2 years now. He has a towering presence and has many traits of his namesake Gianluigi Buffon. He is likely to be the best goalkeeper in the world for the next decade.
Best Young Footballers: Midfield
Two midfielders have been making a claim as not only the two best young midfielders but two of the best midfielders overall. These are Frenkie De Jong of FC Barcelona and Federico Valverde of Real Madrid. Both have a commanding presence in the middle of the field and have the ability to seize control of the game. While De Jong likes to make diagonal runs and play in tight spaces, Valverde is more direct, influencing the play through his physicality and supreme positioning.
Best Young Footballers: Attack
There is one player who is far ahead of all other young players in the world. Kylian Mbappe is the most valuable player in the world and has already been the leader of a world cup winning team. He already has a host of records to his name and scores goals for fun. He is the clear successor to Lionel Messi as the best player in the world, and will likely many Ballon D’ors over the next decade.
All the above players will dominate football for years to come.