The carnival of the Olympics could prove to be the perfect dessert for a jam-packed summer of football. With Tokyo prepared to host an extravagant bonanza, we at FootTheBall take a look at who could be the Top-10 Youngsters at the Olympics this summer.
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— Olympics (@Olympics) April 21, 2021
The Olympics serve as the perfect opportunity for youngsters to showcase their talent and earn a spot at the big boys’ table. From Pedri to Almada, the Olympics could be the ultimate showdown for these names if they want to make it big in Europe. And here’s the list of the names who march into the catalogue of Top-10 Youngsters at the Olympics this summer.
OSCAR MINGUEZA- SPAIN
The rightful successor of Sergio Ramos’ throne, Oscar Minguez has proved to the Spanish pundits why he’s a trustworthy defender in La Furia Roja’s backline. Another product of Barcelona’s youth academy La Masia, Mingueza has overturned the Blaugrana’s defensive struggles. Gerrard Pique’s injury opened the doors for the 22-year-old and phenomenal is the word that describes his first season in Spain.
His leadership abilities were on display, as he did not hesitate to command the team’s backline and was loud throughout the operation. He also made use of the opportunity when the Catalans stormed ahead, penetrating into the opponent’s goalmouth on multiple stages. His self-assurance is constant, and his attacking prowess hid Gerard Pique’s absence whenever Lionel Messi and company prepared for set-pieces. He isn’t the fastest player, but his excellent placement, power, and toughness more than compensate for it while going past the defender without being eaten up seems a challenging task for Mingueza’s rivals.
TAKEFUSA KOBU- JAPAN
Kubo has excellent ball recognition and understands wherever he ought to be. He has an exceptional aptitude for understanding what is going on in the match around him, as well as the ability to locate good areas in the middle of the pitch. Furthermore, he frequently employs a quick kick forth to startle the defender. In the operation, he frequently plays the ball in an open space and uses his quickness to wriggle past the man-marking the Japanese youngster.
— サッカー日本代表 (@jfa_samuraiblue) June 12, 2021
Finally, the moniker “Japanese Messi” isn’t a misnomer. The 20-year-old possesses exceptional and dazzling trickery under his belt and situational reasoning, allowing him to distinguish himself in the roster of Getafe. He has been crucial to his club’s strategies and might be very valuable for Japan if they want a gold medal hanging on their mantles.
GABRIEL MARTINELLI- BRAZIL
His instalment in Arteta’s structure provides Arsenal with a new realm – simplicity and creativity – that they lacked this year. A master of 1v1 situations, Stamford Bridge is well aware of the flair and dazzle the Brazilian carries. Martinelli grabs the football from his partner, and his endurance enables the Brazilian to challenge the enemy every moment he has possession.
🏆 Goal of the Season – 2019/20
🥇 1st place | Gabriel Martinelli v Chelsea 😊 pic.twitter.com/Pw1s9pJhKf
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 18, 2020
Throughout the protective stage, the teenager takes on a threshold of obstacles often much greater than is anticipated of him. Martinelli demonstrates a desire to assist his squad defensively, which is crucial when facing attacking defenders like Andy Robertson or Luke Shaw. If Brazil is to retain their 2016 title they’ll back heavily on Martinelli to provide the Casemiro role in a young Selecao squad.
AMAD DIALLO- IVORY COAST
Diallo enjoys performing twists and turns, and a youtube compilation of his tricks will truly solidify my claim. The youngest striker looking to fabricate a movie at the Theatre, Diallo brings flamboyance, flashiness, and gaudiness on the pitch. Constantly keeping the goalkeeper on his feet with his powerful strikes, the 18-year-old teenager manoeuvres insane nutmegs and ridiculous yet powerful backheels, among other talents throughout his minutes on the pitch. Fans are also enthralled by his quick initial stroke of soccer.
While a daunting Olympic challenge lies in front of Amad Diallo, his beautiful trickery could steal the game away from the opposition. Diallo could surely be a hidden hero for Ivory Coast in Tokyo in the summer jamboree of football. Amad Diallo with a glittering CV walks into the category of Top-10 Youngsters to watch out for at the Olympics.
The fulcrum of Spain’s midfield flamboyance, a sapling already planting its roots throughout Europe, Camp Nou’s summer sensation Pedri marches into the catalogue of players to keep an eye on. The heir of Iniesta’s enduring legacy, Pedri impressed the world since his debut for the Catalans. During the silver-lining in Barcelona’s dark campaign, Pedri announced his arrival in Spain with 3 thundering goals and 3 magnificent assists in his maiden campaign.
🗣️ Luis Enrique: "What Pedri has done in this tournament, at 18, no one has done. Not even Andrés Iniesta did that; it's incredible, unique."
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 11, 2021
The 18-year-old was given an opportunity to gamble at the big boys’ table when he was selected by Luis Enrique for the Euros. Although Spain’s silverware dreams came tumbling down, Pedri didn’t leave the European carnival without leaving a mark. Inch-perfect passes, grazing every inch of the park, and creating magical balls for the Spanish forwards to pounce on, the youngster could take the Tokyo Olympics by storm. The major factor that puts Pedri head and shoulders above his counterparts is the dynamic nature of Pedri’s feet and his trickery that leaves the defender’s lying on the floor.
ERIC GARCIA- SPAIN
With his achievements for Manchester City, the young and dazzling Manchester City centre-back drew attention from a number of clubs across Europe, including FC Barcelona. And Joan Laporta didn’t hesitate before landing the Premier League champion at Camp Nou. The rightful heir to Gerrard Pique’s crown at Barcelona and Spain, Garcia could be one of the Top-10 Youngsters to watch out for at the Olympics.
Garcia formed a formidable partnership along with Aymeric Laporte as the two Spaniards comfortably guarded the Spanish goal. And with the Olympics kicking off from today, Garcia will once again be seen dictating Spain’s backline along with his club teammate Oscar Mingueza.
THIAGO ALMADA- ARGENTINA
A dazzling Argentine winger full of trickery and flamboyance, the Guardian added Thiago Almada to the catalogue of “Next Generation in 2018”.He is a skilled, quick, and dynamic player with the ability to strike from any direction. Almada was one of his club’s finest performers in the Copa Libertadores, scoring twice. The youngster can tear apart defences at his will, fabricating his magic on the pitch.
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) May 20, 2021
Entering the Tokyo Olympics, Almada would have been the conqueror of the Best Player Crown if Pedri wouldn’t have enjoyed a delicious campaign. But the Tokyo Olympics could prove to be the big stage for Almada to showcase his heroics and earn a hefty contract from Europe.
LEE-KANG IN- SOUTH KOREA
He is without a question the standout performer from the South Korean team and the international outfit’s biggest asset after Spurs’ veteran Son Heung-min. The 20-year-old offensive playmaker has distinguished himself in the Valencia first squad after joining the club’s training when he was just ten years old. Developing through the ranks in Spain, Lee-Kang In proved to the world why he’s such an influential midfielder.
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) May 9, 2021
With great strength, exquisite passing ability, and the knack of committing marvellous tackles Lee-Kang In could land the gold medal in South Korea’s favour. Lee-Kang In cleverly turns the defender with the usage of his muscular body, something Jack Grealish does to retain possession. The South Korean effortlessly steps in between the defender and the ball either earning possession or a foul.
BRYAN GIL- SPAIN
Spain has chosen a solid group that includes numerous individuals who competed at the Euros and need little explanation, but Sevilla midfielder Gil, 20, is perhaps the best of the rest. This year, he won his first professional caps after a strong loan spell at Eibar. The left-footed Spaniard turns in and around defenders owing to his tiny stature but rarely gives the defenders a minute to breathe.
Gil has all the tricks up his sleeves and has a wide range of passing abilities splitting the defences on most occasions. With Pedri already present in Spain’s midfield, Gil’s introduction could add the creativity and flair which could bolster Spain’s title aspirations.
Antony, considered to be a landmark acquisition for Ajax, is 21 years old. He performs with finesse, quickness, and confidence, and he’s already being hailed as South America’s next huge story. He had an immediate impact in the Dutch league, striking on his debut against Sparta Rotterdam and putting up a lot of assists and goals in his first season.
He dropped off significantly toward the end of the session, but the summer break would have refreshed the Brazilian’s minds and he would be prepared to light up Tokyo with his goal-scoring heroics. Antony with his Brazilian flair makes it to the catalogue of Top-10 Youngsters to watch out for at the Olympics.