The biggest sporting event on the planet is edging nearer, as the 2022 World Cup gets underway in November. Many sports fans are already making their World Cup predictions for the huge tournament, and it should be an unforgettable three weeks in Qatar before Christmas.
All of the biggest players in the world will be in competition at the World Cup, but so often the tournament spotlight is stolen by a young star that seizes his opportunity. But, who are some of the young players that could dazzle at the tournament in Qatar later this year?
It’s likely that the reigning world champions will go deep in the competition once again this year, but it could be a new star that makes the headlines. Eduardo Camavinga looks primed to play a big part for France in the winter after impressing during his first season with Real Madrid. The 19-year-old midfielder has already scored two goals and registered one assist in 14 appearances for the La Liga giants this season.
He appears to be the apparent heir to N’golo Kante and excels in the defensive midfield position. Camavinga has averaged 1.5 tackles per game this season, and has made 0.4 clearances per fixture in La Liga. There’s no doubt he looks to have a bright future, and the stage looks set for him in Qatar to shine.
A player that will be chasing a redemption story in Qatar later this year will be England Bukayo Saka. The 20-year-old agonizingly missed the vital penalty for the Three Lions in their shootout defeat to Italy in the final of EURO 2020. However, his character has shone through during the 2021-22 season, as he has quickly put that heartbreak behind him with excellent performances for Arsenal.
Saka has already registered eight goals and five assists in 23 games in the Premier League this term, and has been an integral part of the Gunners set-up chasing a Champions League finish. He is highly regarded by Gareth Southgate, and could start in one of the forward three positions for England in their opening World Cup game in November.
We are likely to see a new-look Germany side at the World Cup later this year, as Hansi Flick looks to build a team that can get back to dominating major tournaments. A key component to their future plans looks to be Florian Wirtz. The instrumental attacking midfielder looks to be the ready-made replacement for Thomas Muller, who looks set to play a reduced role in the national side after underperforming at EURO 2020.
This season, Wirtz has continued to capture the imagination with Bayer Leverkusen and has scored ten goals and registered 13 assists in 28 games in all competitions. His eye for a pass in the final third makes the 18-year-old one of the most desired players in the international game, and few would be surprised to see him shine in Qatar.
No World Cup is complete without a Brazilian superstar being born. This year’s tournament could be the perfect opportunity for 22-year-old Antony to step out of Neymar’s shadow and become a global star.
The winger has been playing in Europe for the last two seasons, as he joined Ajax in 2020 after coming through the ranks with Sao Paulo. He has continued to dazzle both domestically and in Europe for the Dutch giants this season, as he has scored eleven goals and registered eight assists in 28 games in all competitions.
Antony is exceptionally brave on the ball, and that is highlighted by the 3.7 shots that he averages in the Champions League per game. He looks set to play an important role for Brazil this winter having already won seven caps for his national side.
Antony has already scored twice for the team, with the most recent of those coming in a World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in February.