By 90Min
December 10, 2018

Football is never ending, and as every generation of great players reaches its end, there is always a new one coming through to replace it with stars of a new emerging generation.

The world of football already has numerous emerging stars whose frightening potential puts them in good stead for future legendary status.

All aged 20 or younger, these six individuals are the next wave of great football stars...

Phil Foden


Phil Foden is heralded as the jewel of the Manchester City production line and finished 2017 with an Under-17 World Cup win, the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player and a BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award.

Fast forward 12 months and he continues to be heavily talked about as he now looks to establish himself in Pep Guardiola's team of record-breaking champions at the Etihad Stadium.

Vinicius Junior

SD Eibar v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Vinicius Junior proved so talented that Real Madrid splashed out a reported €46m to sign the Brazilain when he was still only 16 years old, and had played just a handful of senior games for Flamengo. 

What's more, it was nearly two years before he could legally join them in Spain.

The Brazilian starlet has so far been eased into life in Madrid, splitting his time between the first and second string. However his involvement with the senior side is now becoming more frequent.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

New Liverpool hero Trent Alexander-Arnold could hardly have grown up much closer to the club's Anfield home, and is truly living the dream by playing for his boyhood club. 

The defender, who faced Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2018 Champions League final, has only recently celebrated his 20th birthday and could feasibly remain a Liverpool favourite for the next 10-15 years.

Jadon Sancho

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Jadon Sancho took the plunge and left English football behind when he joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in the summer of 2017, and the gamble has massively paid off.

The London-born forward was immediately assigned a first team squad number and began to feature prominently in the second half of his maiden season. He has since made a stunning start to 2018/19 and has even made his international debut for the Three Lions. He's the real deal.

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

At a time when Gianluigi Buffon is slowly bringing the curtain down on his illustrious career, namesake and successor Gianluigi Donnarumma is just starting out on his own journey.

Still only 19 years of age, he incredibly became AC Milan number one at just 16 and has already played close to 150 senior games. The youngster has since also established himself as Italy's number one and the true heir to the great Buffon.

Kylian Mbappe

Xavier Laine/GettyImages

Turning 20 month, Kylian Mbappe has already achieved more than many footballers could hope to do in their entire career, and yet this is still only the beginning of the story.

Mbappe is the second most expensive player in history, has won the World Cup, two domestic league titles, domestic cups and recently finished fourth in the 2018 Ballon d'Or - ahead of Lionel Messi. It seems there is nothing he won't be able to do. 

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