While many people feel sorry to see Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar leaving the World Cup earlier than expected, some young players stood out to show that they deserve equal, if not more, attention from the media and fans.
They have impressed audiences with their great skills, superb goals and have shown the world that they are the future stars.
Kylian Mbappe (France)
There should be no doubt that Mbappe, the Golden Boy of 2017, is the most talented player of his generation. Born in 1999, the PSG striker will become the world’s second-most expensive player if his loan from Monaco to PSG turns permanent this summer.
In the 4-3 thriller against Argentina, Mbappe scored twice and set up another for Antoine Griezmann, becoming the first teenager to score a brace in the same World Cup match after Pele.
Had it not been for Mbappe, Didier Deschamps’s side might have already been eliminated in the first match of the knock-out stage in the World Cup.
After the match, Mbappe finally cemented his place in the starting line-up. With France taking on another talent-studded team Belgium in the semifinals, Mbappe could be the devastating weapon for Les Bleus.
Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)
Although the hosts were eliminated by Croatia on penalties in the quarterfinal clash, this can’t shadow the highlight performance of Golovin.
Golovin is considered by many as the most talented Russian player in the last decade after Andrey Arshavin. It’s not easy to define his role, but it’s not hard to conclude that he usually does a good job.
In the emotional opening match in which Russia crushed Saudi Arabia 5-0, Golovin dominated the front pages although Denis Cheryshev, who replaced injured Alan Dzagoev, was rated the man of the match.
The playmaker is now closely linked with a summer move to Serie A giant Juventus.
The Bianconeri have offered 20m to CSKA Moscow for Golovin, but after his wonderful performance in this World Cup, higher price is expected.
Hirving Lozano (Mexico)
Mexico stunned defending champion Germany 1-0 in their opening match of Group F, and it was Lozano who scored the sole goal through the counter.
Just like another legendary soccer star Luis Hernandez, Lozano is small, quick and has a seemingly endless bag of tricks.
As a winger, his footwork, agility and desire to drive forward with the ball surged Mexico to the last 16 clash.
It is reported that Manchester United and Arsenal have joined the battle to sign Lozano.
Harry Kane (England)
Strictly speaking, 24-year-old Kane can’t be tipped as a future star, but there is no denying that the captain of the young “lions” still has potential to feature.
Kane scored 41 goals in 48 matches across all competitions for Tottenham Hotspur in the 2017-18 season.
Now he has brought that form to the England national team and made his way to become the current top scorer in the World Cup with six goals from just four games.
His leadership, composure and finishing ability have helped England move on to the semifinals, the best record since 1990.