We are well into the biggest tournament on the planet, the FIFA Soccer World Cup. And man, have there been some notable upsets. Like Saudi Arabia beating Argentina, Morocco beating the men’s second-ranked team in the world, Belgium, AND Cameroon being the first African nation to beat Brazil in the group stages. It’s been one hell of a ride so far. As the knockoff stages take place, we expect to see plenty more upsets. We are also wondering how this has affected fans’ online sports betting. Are you a soccer fan who has changed your betting habits due to the recent upsets in the group stages? Or are you betting on the nations with the younger players? And in that breath, let’s look at the teams with the best young players.  

Pape Matar Sarr – Senegal

At only 20 years old, Pape has a bright future ahead of him, and he is already proving his worth in the Premier League playing for Tottenham Hotspurs. For an African nation like Senegal, soccer runs in their blood. Senegal is arguably the continent’s best soccer nation and features world-class player Sadio Mané who unfortunately was ruled out of this year’s World Cup due to a knee injury. But back to Pape. This year he won the CAF Player of the Year, a major achievement since he’s been proving himself as a formidable player. So much so that a late substitution in the 77th minute in the Group A match against Qatar saw Pape score the winning goal.  

ghana flag e1670404224179

Antony Matheus dos Santos – Brazil

This young star is only 22 years old but quite literally has the world ahead of him. Currently, he plays for the legendary English club Manchester United. His debut with the club was phenomenal. He scored in his debut match against Arsenal, which saw United win the game 3-1. So, it was no surprise that Antony was selected to stand for his country in Qatar. With teammates like Neymar Jr. and Casemiro, Antony is playing in the big leagues but is performing quite well thus far. While Antony has not yet scored in the World Cup, he is vital to make Brazil’s World Cup campaign a success.  

brazil e1670404243566

Pablo Martín Páez Gavira – Spain

Simply known as Gavi, this 18-year-old made his debut with his nation in Qatar. He is being called a prodigy at his club Barcelona and is one of the young and bright stars who is looking to take the Spanish club into the future. This young man is proving his worth on the pitch, so much as he won the Kopa trophy for the best young player in the world at the Ballon d’Or gala earlier in October. At only 18, Gavi has achieved a lot in his lifetime. He is a silver Olympic medalist, which few soccer stars can claim. And in this year’s World Cup, he helped Spain score an impressive volley-like goal, defeating Costa Rica 7-0. 

Takefusa Kubo – Japan

Born in Kawasaki in 2001, this 21-year-old plays midfielder. Many feel like Take has been playing soccer for years, but the 21-year-old is just getting started. So far, Japan has had a fantastic campaign in this tournament. They have beaten both Germany and Spain and have advanced to the knockout stages. This is a first for the nation, and Take is all a part of this. At the club level, Take plays for Real Sociedad. But he started his soccer journey at Barcelona’s La Masia academy as a teen prodigy. He has played for his national team 18 times and scored his first goal for his nation against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  

Aurélien Djani Tchouaméni – France

France last won the World Cup in 2018, beating out underdogs Croatia. The side featured iconic players such as Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, Olivier Giroud, and Kylian Mbappe. For this campaign, there’s only one omission, Paul Pogba. So Aurélien gets to play alongside and learn from some of the best in the world, quite literally, since they are the reigning champions. At only 22 years old, Aurélien plays for Real Madrid (the FORCE in European soccer), taking over the midfielder position when Casemiro left the team earlier this year. But for the club, this has been great news since the youngster is calm and performs well. He has tactical awareness and is super technical, which has translated well into his World Cup campaign.