They often describe themselves as “promising young people” but many have already consolidated. We are talking about twenty-year-olds and teenagers who are taking up football after being cannibalized for a long time by Messi and CR7. We will see many of them at Euro 2024, which could be the perfect showcase to establish them among football’s GOATs.
Euro 2024: Jude Bellingham and new phenomena
looking at him, Jude Bellingham doesn’t look 20 years oldand certainly not because of his physiognomy or physical features, but because of his extraordinary talent as well as the masterful confidence with which he moves on the field. On closer inspection, this is a common feature of many promising young footballers, some of whom are already consolidated.
Consider not only Bellingham, who in a few months became the leader of a great world club like Real Madrid, but also Gavi, who in his youth became the mainstay for rebuilding the great Barcelona. The Spanish national team will also revolve around this.. Then there is seventeen-year-old Warren Zaïre-Emery, who convinced manager Luis Enrique to “retire” Marco Verratti, handing the boy the keys to the PSG midfield and also the French national team.
There’s always in Barcelona 2007 Laminated Yamal (yes, you read that correctly, he is 16 years old) has exploded to the point of becoming the permanent starter of the Blaugrana attack, and coach Xavi did not even deprive himself of him in the friendly matches. It is impossible not to mention the name of 21-year-old Eduardo Camavinga, who remains in the Spanish La Liga, but he has been the center of attention since his youth and has now become one of the biggest stars in the world, along with Mbappé. Names in France.
Football belongs to young people, but in Italy…
Age is a temporary thing and in today’s football we move so fast that 23-year-old Haaland now looks like an “old man”. Jokes aside, the future of football is increasingly in the hands of young phenoms, and France and Spain teach a lot about this. We are perhaps a little behind in Italy. think about this seventeen year old Simone Pafundi, out of place in UdineseHowever, he distributes plenty of pearls in the Under-19 National Team.
It is not yet clear whether coach Spalletti will call him to Euro 2024, but the young man from Monfalcone has already made Italian history. The youngest player to wear the A National Team jersey: 16 years 8 months 2 days. He made his debut in the friendly match against Albania on 16 November 2022.
According to the ranking prepared by CIES (Center for International Sports Research), more than 70% of the players in the Italian national team’s squad in March 2023 were between the ages of 22-29. 19% were even over 30 years old and only 6.7% are under 21. We’ll see if, with the farewell decree on growth, there will be more room for young people in nurseries, and we’ll find our made-in-Italy phenomenon.