The FIFA Under-20 World Cup kicks off this weekend, and not so long ago, it was a tournament that had scouts flocking to check out or discover the next big thing. How times have changed.
In today’s game, many players in that age group are already making waves in some of Europe’s top leagues or even in the latter stages of the Champions League, with development and production continuing to accelerate.
With some of the finest in that age group set to take center stage in South Korea, it's a perfect opportunity to rate the 20 best players in the world who are under 20. Our rankings took into account a range of factors: these include talent–however you define that nebulous term–potential, attitude and long-term upside.
We might have overlooked some seemingly obvious players, or even ranked some players in an order with which you disagree, but we believe these players will all be household names in a few years. Some, as you'll see, already are.
(Our cut-off for turning 20 was as of last week, when rosters for the U-20 World Cup were released. As a result, the likes of Anderlecht's Youri Tielemans and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus are not eligible to make the cut, but Ousmane Dembele, who turned 20 on Monday, does.)