The World Cup showed that the old generation of players is still not done winning titles. Lionel Messi got an international trophy at last, and it was the big one. Messi is destroying defenses left and right, showing that class is permanent. But, what the World Cup also showed us is that the guard is slowly changing.

There are plenty of great young players in football today that look like they could surpass Messi or Ronaldo. Just take a look at Kylian Mbappe. The French star outshined most players at the tournament, establishing himself as one of the best players regardless of age. Other budding stars have also emerged, showing the world that a new generation of players is emerging, and some of them might go in history as legends of the sport.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best young players in football right now in no particular order.

Kylian Mbappe

We’ve rarely seen a player so accomplished as Kylian Mbappe at such a young age. Still only 24, he’s won the Euros and the World Cup, and established himself as one of the best players in the world. Still only 24, Mbappe will surely become one of the greats.

The only thing missing in his collection is a Champions League, but PSG has done well to surround him with experience and talent that will most likely result in the desired trophy. The French team is one of the favorites according to sportweddenschappen België, and will definitely fly high this season with an impeccable trio of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar.

Erling Haaland

At the age of 22, the Norwegian goalscoring machine has already broken many records. After half a season in Manchester City, he’s on the verge of breaking the top goalscoring record in the Premier League. The boy is an absolute wonder who has shown class in his Red Bull and Dortmund outings, and is now taking the PL by storm.

He has the eye for goal many more experienced strikers miss, and he doesn’t need a lot of space to score a goal. Make no mistake – in a few years time, he’ll have a record value. Teams will be fighting for his signature and we believe that City is just the next step in his career – not a final move.


It’s fair to say that Barcelona is currently in rebuild mode. The Catalans have obvious problems in the post-Messi era, but as always, there are a few bright gems in Blaugrana’s squad. While Pedri didn’t rise through La Masia’s ranks, he’s been here for a few years and established himself as a key player in Xavi’s squad. At the age of 19, nonetheless.

Pedri’s vision of the field and eye for assists has drawn comparisons to Andres Iniesta. If you believe Xavi’s words, he may even outshine the legendary midfielder. Being the important player he is in Barcelona at 19, we’re sure he can.


Gavi and Pedri have shown promise as the heirs of Xavi and Iniesta in Barcelona. Get this – Gavi is even younger than Pedri and already a starter in most of Barca’s matches. Unlike his midfield partner, he’s a full La Masia product, and one of the most exciting in years.

He’s a tough player who’s also made his Spain debut, making 17 appearances for La Roja. Is Barcelona counting on him? Well, he has 50 matches so far on his resume, so we’d say it’s a definitive yes. One could say that he’s still a diamond in the rough, but he’s still young and with proper work, he’ll be a world-class player.

Enzo Fernandez

Born in 2001, not many people were familiar with Fernandez’s game until the World Cup. He propelled himself to stardom after scoring one goal and assisting more than a few, nabbing the Young Player Award as Messi’s Argentina won the title.

After establishing himself as a hot young prospect in River Plate, he was transferred to Benfica in the summer of 2022. Fernandez didn’t waste time showcasing his talent in Portugal, and his World Cup performances may lead to a move to a bigger club. Chelsea are said to be very interested in the midfielder who has the best years ahead of him at the age of 21.

Julian Alvarez

Another Argentine player that broke out at the World Cup, Alvarez has shown hints of class after signing for Manchester City last summer. He’s struggled to get more playing time, but when he was thrown in action by Pep Guardiola, he delivered. So far, he’s only scored a few goals, but his goals for Argentina in the World Cup have shown the promise he brings.

Alvarez is only 22, and he’s already considered a top product. We have no doubt that his star will grow in the future. If he begins bagging goals like we’re sure he can, Manchester City will be a force to reckon with the Alvarez-Haaland partnership up front.

Jude Bellingham

If anyone needed any convincing that Bellingham is a star in the making, the World Cup surely quashed those doubts. The 19-year old has shown quality in Borussia Dortmund, becoming one of the undisputed starters. He’s had a great World Cup too, showing his intelligence and passing ability, while covering a lot of ground.

He’s one of the most exciting England products and is poised for a big move, maybe as soon as this summer.

Jamal Musiala

There’s probably no player more hyper than Musiala in Europe right now. The 19-year old Bayern forward became the club’s youngest goalscorer just months after his 17th birthday. He’s quick, dribbles the ball like the best, and has shown great playmaking abilities too. He’s seen as a successor to Thomas Muller in Bayern and Germany, and that’s no small thing.

This season, Musiala has already broken his previous goal record in the Bundesliga. We’re not even halfway through the season, and great things will surely come for the swift-footed German.