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Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup

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Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 17

The FIFA U20 World Cup kicked off to a frantic start on the 23rd of May with Senegalese young stars Amadou Sagna scoring a hat-trick with the first of it becoming the fastest goal ever scored in the history of the FIFA U20 World Cup with just less than ten seconds on the clock beating Nigeria’s Monday Odiaka‘s record of 14 seconds in 1985.

Other games were played with Italy thrashing Mexico in a 2-1 contest in the other Group B match, Ivan Angulo 23 min strike and Luis Sandoval late goal ensure Colombia 2-0 over Poland. Sassuolo’s midfielder, Davide Frattesi scored a fantastic opener for Italy and the 19 – year old’s spot on the team was confirmed as a result of Roma’s Nicholo Zaniolo’s absence from the team.

Often times, arguments arise as to the approach to underage tournaments, whether established players who are still under the eligible age should be taken to the tournament to boost teams’ chances of winning or preserve such spots for lesser-known players to showcase their talents to the world.

As the World focuses on Poland in the next couple of days to catch a glimpse of unknown players who could become superstars in the next couple of years, here are some top U20 players who are not at the World Cup, but are already playing at the top level of professional football and thus absent from the competition.

Gianluigi Donnarumma
Country – Italy
DOB – 29 February 1999 (20years)
Club – Ac Milan

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 18

Generally and popularly acclaimed to be Gianluigi Buffon‘s successor, Donnarumma who rightly sees the Italian legend as a role model broke into the limelight in 2015 becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to debut in a Serie A match at the age of 16 years and 242 days breaking the record formerly held by Buffon.

Since then he has gone on to break several other records becoming the youngest goalkeeper to debut for the Italian national team at the age of 17. He has made over 165 appearances with over 50 clean sheets and had been linked with a big money move to Real Madrid in the past.

However, as the Azzurri’s stepped on to the pitch in Poland to face Mexico in their opener, Donnarumma was not listed for the tournament and it was a fellow Milan goalkeeper and his understudy, Plizzari Alessandro who manned the post. Juventus youth goalkeeper Loria Leonardo and Atalanta’s Marco Carnesechi are the alternative choices.

Christian Pulisic
Country – USA
DOB – 18 September 1998 (20years)
Club – Chelsea

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 19

What more can be said about Pulisic’s absence from the U20 World Cup? The former Dortmund player who recently moved to Chelsea would have been deemed too experienced for this tournament.

Wondering how and why? Not only has the brilliant midfielder had over 23 caps for the US National team but he was also seen as a core part of the country’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2018 FIFA world cup in Russia as well as becoming the captain of the Stars and Stripes at the young age of 19.

However, rising star and PSG forward, Timothy Weah is listed for the tournament even though he made his international debut in a friendly in 2018 but Pulisic will likely be at the CONCACAF GOLD CUP holding in the summer instead.

Samuel Chukwueze
Country – Nigeria
DOB – 22 May 1999 (19)
Club – Villarreal

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 20

Nigeria’s teenage sensation and rave of the moment, Chukwueze is already a U17 World Cup winner after featuring at the Chile 2015 edition. However, Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2017 U20 world cup in South Korea see him fail to feature at the cadet competition.

Although the Villareal man was eligible for the ongoing tournament, his stock has risen tremendously in the last 12 months posting impressive display in the La Liga and in the Europa league since breaking into the yellow submarines’ first team and sas such may have grown beyond this level.

His displays didn’t go unnoticed by the handlers of the National team, as debates were raised as to whether he should feature for the Super Eagles at the AFCON in Egypt or the Flying Eagles in Poland.

However, despite the possibility of featuring at both tournaments, his club’s stance on picking just one of either, saw the winger settle to play with the big men. He could have been sincerely too much to handle for USA, Ukraine and Qatar.

Martin Odegaard
Country – Norway
DOB – 28 December 1998 (20)
Club – Real Madrid

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 21

Well, many would probably be reawakened by the name of the young lad on this list, the Norwegian was signed by Real Madrid as a 16 – year old and he was touted to be next big thing.

This was not far fetched after becoming the youngest debutant in the Norwegian league in 2014 as a 15-year old as well as a National team player in the same year. That shows how long Odegaard has been on the big scene.

However, he has been largely inefficient and could arguably be considered as a flop having only played for Real Madrid’s first team just once in four years. He has largely played for the Castilla and as well gone on loan to the Dutch Eredivisie, playing for Heerenveen in 2017/2018 and Vitesse in the 2018/2019 season.

Although many could consider the U20 World Cup a chance for him to finally regain the form he once showed as a 15-year old, he has however been snubbed in order to give other players a chance at the spotlight. Doubt anyone would have noticed a Real Madrid player will be at the tournament if he had been chosen

Nicolo Zaniolo
Country – Italy
DOB – July 2, 1999 (19)
Club – Roma

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 22

Imagine how much impact Nicolo Zaniolo orchestrating things from the midfield and Donnarumma in goal would have made for the Italians at the tournament.

The inclusion of the duo would have made Italians instant favourites to lift the trophy in June. However, having played as an integral part of Roma’s disappointing season both in the Seria A and La Liga, being one of their few impressive players, he wasn’t considered to still be a player in this level of competition.

Zaniolo scored 4 goals in 23 appearances from his midfield position and has become one of the young stars to look forward to in the next season. He has already made two appearances for the Azurris.

Moise Keane
Country – Italy
DOB – 28 February 2000 (19)
Club – Juventus

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 23

Add the extremely prolific Juventus forward, Moise Keane to the initial scenario of an Italian u20 team that has Donnarumma and Zaniolo and you will likely be looking at a team that could more or less be seen as Italy’s National team “B” playing at the FIFA U20 World Cup

Keane broke into the Seria A this season although he joined Juventus in 2016, making 15 appearances scoring 7 goals, with the National team, he’s made three appearances scoring twice

He became the first player born in the year 2000 to make an appearance in one of Europe’s five major leagues in November 2016), also to make an appearance in the UEFA Champions League(November 2016), to score a goal in one of Europe’s five major leagues (May 2017), and to score a goal for the Italy national team (March 2019). The teenager is already in the league of men

Vinicius Junior
Country – Brazil
DOB – 12 July 2000 (18)
Club – Real Madrid

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 24

Unlike the first Madrid player on the list, Vinicius Junior’s appearance at the tournament would have turned some attention to the tournament had Brazil qualified.

But the South Americans failed to qualify and as such, it is difficult to project if Madrid would have allowed him or barred him from featuring due to his importance to the team making 15 appearances in just his first season in Europe.

Irrespective, considering his performances in the La Liga and UEFA Champions League this season he would have become a big star amongst his age mates in Poland. Also, his price tag is quite uncommon for a teenager after the Spanish capital club paid £45 millions to Flamingo to sign. There’s hardly an U20 player featuring in Poland who can boast of such a price tag

Kylian Mbappe
Country – France
DOB – 20 December 1998 (20)
Club – PSG

Poland 2019: Top U20 Players Who Are Not At The U20 World Cup 25

Mbappe is already at a level close to the best of the game just at the age of 20, a lot of footballing fans are already tipping him to win the Balon D’or or the FIFA Best Award in the nearest future, replicating the feats of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It’s even more outstanding that the 20-year old has already scored 100 career goals, winning the FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018 not just as a squad player but as an important player in the team, becoming the joint second top scorer in the competition as well as the second teenager after Pele to score in a FIFA World Cup final match.

As outlined above, his profile just as a World Cup medalist has put him heads and shoulder above other players present at the Championship (No disrespect to the rest present). A World Cup winner vying for a U20 world cup doesn’t sound logical especially after a long tedious season with PSG winning the Ligue 1 and in contention for a domestic double.

 

 

 

 

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Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality

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Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality

The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League

President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.

“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.

“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”

The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:

“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”

“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”

READ ALSO: FIFA Congress To Decide Future Host Of Women’s World Cup

“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.

With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”

 

 

 

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.

The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.

Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues

  • Paulinho

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.

Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.

He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.

The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.

In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.

Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.

Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”

  • Iago Aspas

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.

After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.

At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.

In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.

READ ALSO: 10 Premier League Players With Most Own Goals

  • Diego Forlan

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.

Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.

In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.

The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.

With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.

Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.

Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.

 

Conclusion

There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.

These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.

 

 

 

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