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Youngsters to keep your eye on at the World Cup

The world's biggest and brightest stars will be aiming to showcase their skills at this summer's World Cup but there are also a number of emerging players aiming to turn potential into proven quality at the finals.

Here we have chosen 10 to keep an eye on but if you know of more we should be looking out for then let us know using the feedback form below...


The attacking midfielder only made his senior national team debut in the qualification play-off against Costa Rica last November but is set to provide a creative spark in South Africa for Oscar Washington Tabarez's side. Impressed at the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt last year and helped his club Nacional to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores before joining compatriot Luis Suarez at Ajax in January.

MESUT OZIL (Germany)

Ozil provides creativity in midfield for Germany and could emerge as their star performer in South Africa. Impressive for Werder Bremen as they finished third in the Bundesliga to reach next season's UEFA Champions League qualifiers, and Europe's premier club competition would be a worthy stage for Ozil to perform on. He has quickly helped Werder fans overcome the loss of Brazilian star Diego to Juventus.


His talent as a skilful all-round forward was spotted by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger after some excellent performances for his country at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup, and after a spell on loan in Spain is now fighting to establish himself in the Gunners line-up. He is used with much greater regularity by Mexico, playing 12 times in the qualification campaign.


His ability as a midfield all-rounder has largely silenced those who claimed he was only in the American team because his dad Bob is the coach. One of a growing number of the squad to have proved themselves in Europe - Bradley Jr is at Borussia Monchengladbach - he has worked hard to improve his discipline and while his distribution is still not the greatest, his energy and drive makes him indispensable.


Striker Dominic Adiyiah earned the plaudits and the move to AC Milan after his exploits in Ghana's victory at the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt last year but industrious Basle right-back Inkoom has since had more success in making the transition to the senior side, and could be a useful contributor for the Black Stars this summer.


The pacy right winger has some of western Europe's biggest clubs sniffing round him after some excellent displays in the Champions League this season with CSKA Moscow. A great dribbler who will relish taking on any defence he comes up against, and would be a good bet to score a spectacular goal or two along the way.


The Danes of 2010 may lack the flair and finesse of the great side of the 1980s but in Daniel Agger, Christian Poulsen and Palermo defender Kjaer they are solid defensively. He is being closely watched by a number of clubs and if he impresses in South Africa the Sicilians might be made an offer they cannot refuse.


Japan coach Takeshi Okada has set an ambitious target of reaching the semi-finals, but the first task will be getting out of a tough group containing Holland, Denmark and Cameroon. Okazaki was in red-hot form throughout 2009, scoring 15 goals for the national side and is set to be the focal point of Japan's attack in South Africa.

GERVINHO (Ivory Coast)

The Lille forward is one of the up-and-coming stars in the Elephants line-up and is set to partner Chelsea star Didier Drogba up front for Sven-Goran Eriksson's side.


The Porto midfielder was one of the few players to enhance his reputation in Portugal's unconvincing qualification for South Africa. A tireless box-to-box performer, he showed glimpses of his ability at Euro 2008 and will be a key component of Carlos Queiroz's side two years on. At 27, he is approaching his peak and needs to impress if he wants a crack at one of Europe's biggest leagues.

Comments (7)

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Barry Calvert (Manchester United fan) says...

its gotta be brazil or spain to win with holland and argentina with an outside chance. england will reach the quarter final at best. milito will be the star man of the world cup

Posted 22:58 23rd May 2010

Mark Pirie (Aberdeen fan) says...

look out for dark horses serbia and either ghana or ivory coast,england will get semi final at best,they dont have the balls to beat italy or spain or brazil.dutch or brazil to win it

Posted 12:06 21st May 2010

Jason Clarke (Manchester United fan) says...

I think people should watch out for daniele de rossi for italy he's a great midfielder hes in great form at mo and he always does well for his country i reckon 10 to 12 goals in this world cup

Posted 00:39 21st May 2010

Billy Mcgonagle (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

two players to look out for are the Zambian left back balled Mbola,hes 16 & played 20 times for his country & Hunt the german who plays for Werder bremen i think

Posted 15:36 20th May 2010

Daniel Moore (Manchester United fan) says...

Teamtowatch out for is USA, they beat Spain 3-1 last time they played "/

Posted 09:40 19th May 2010

Chris Mullineux (Manchester United fan) says...

Just watch out for Van Der Weil and Candreva

Posted 19:40 18th May 2010

Vivek Krishnan (Chelsea fan) says...

James Milner has been in terrific form for Aston Villa & he is defenitely someone who has the capability to perform at a world stage...i hope England play him regularly so that he gets a chance to showcase his talent!!!

Posted 10:45 18th May 2010

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