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100 best young players in the world
November 4th, 2010 12:33AM
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[MAKING A LIST] Spanish soccer magazine Don Balon has come out with its list of the 100 best young players in the world -- players 21 years or younger. It comes nine years after its first 100 list that featured three Americans: Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson and Santino Quaranta. Indicative of the dearth of young U.S. talent, no Americans figure on the 2010 top 100 list.

Brazil led all countries with 10 players on the list. Spain and France followed with nine apiece. Germany had eight. Perhaps the big surprise was Belgium with six. Argentina, England and Italy have four players.

There were 42 countries represented on the list. The lone Concacaf member represented was Mexico with two players (Giovanni dos Santos and Carlos Vela).

Forty players play for clubs in foreign leagues.

Don Balon Top 100
Dominic Adiyiah (Ghana/Reggina)
Toby Alderweireld (Belgium/Ajax)
Hamdan Al Kamali (UAE/Al Wahda)
Jano Ananidze (Georgia/Spartak Moscow)
Andre Ayew (Ghana/Marseille)
Khouma Babacar (Senegal/Fiorentina)
Holger Badstuber (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Gareth Bale (Wales/Tottenham)
Mario Balotelli (Italy/Manchester City)
Ben Sahar (Israel/Hapoel Tel Aviv)
Bojan (Spain/Barcelona)
Bo-Kyung Kim (South Korea/Oita Trinita)
Ryad Boudebouz (Algeria/Sochaux)
Dedryck Boyata (Belgium/Manchester City)
Breno (Brazil/Bayern)
Sergio Canales (Spain/Real Madrid)
Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez (Belgium/Standard Liege)
Luc Castaignos (Netherlands/Feyenoord)
Diego Contento (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Phillippe Coutinho (Brazil/Inter Milan)
David De Gea (Spain/Atletico Madrid)
Alvaro Dominguez (Spain/Atletico Madrid)
Giovanni dos Santos (Mexico/Tottenham)
Douglas Costa (Brazil/Shakhtar Donetsk)
Alan Dzagoev (Russia/CSKA Moscow)
Gueida Fofana (France/Le Havre)
Paulo Henrique (Brazil/Santos)
Giuliano (Brazil/Internacional)
Maxime Gonalons (France/Lyon)
Mario Goetze (Germany/Borussia Dortmund)
Antoine Griezmann (France/Real Sociedad)
Eden Hazard (Belgium/Lille)
Jordan Henderson (England/Sunderland)
Markus Henriksen (Norway/Rosenborg)
Abel Hernandez (Uruguay/Palermo)
Ander Herrera (Spain/Real Zaragoza)
Lewis Holtby (Germany/Mainz)
James Rodriguez (Colombia/Porto)
Stefan Jovetic (Montenegro/Fiorentina)
Vaclav Kadlec (Czech Rep./Sparta Prague)
Shinji Kagawa (Japan/Borussia Dortmund)
Gael Kakuta (France/Chelsea)
Alan Kardec (Brazil/Benfica)
Simon Kjaer (Denmark/Wolfsburg)
Maksim Koval (Ukraine/Dinamo Kiev)
Ismail Koybasi (Turkey/Besiktas)
Toni Kroos (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Manuel Lanzini (Argentina/River Plate)
Adem Ljajic (Serbia/Fiorentina)
Dejan Lovren (Croatia/Lyon)
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium/Anderlecht)
Lukman Haruna (Nigeria/Monaco)
Federico Macheda (Italy/Manchester United)
Guido Marilungo (Italy/Sampdoria)
Marko Marin (Germany/Werder Bremen)
Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia/Young Boys)
Thomas Mueller (Germany/Bayern Munich)
Iker Muniain (Spain/Athletic Bilbao)
Marc Muniesa (Spain/Barcelona)
Ezequiel Munoz (Argentina/Palermo)
Yann Mvila (France/Rennes)
Tomas Necid (Czech Rep./CSKA Moscow)
Neymar (Brazil/Santos)
Sotiris Ninis (Greece/Panathinaikos)
Nikolas N’Koulou (Cameroon/Monaco)
Javier Pastore (Argentina/Palermo)
Alexandre Pato (Brazil/AC Milan)
Pablo Piatti (Argentina/Almeria)
Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia/Lyon)
Rafael (Brazil/Manchester United)
Yaroslav Rakytskiy (Ukraine/Shakhtar Donetsk)
Diego Renan (Brazil/Cruzeiro)
Marco Reus (Germany/Bor. M'Gladbach)
Emmanuel Riviere (France/St. Etienne)
Jack Rodwell (England/Everton)
Jose Rondon (Venezuela/Malaga)
Victor Ruiz (Spain/Espanyol)
Mamadou Sakho (France/Paris SG)
Davide Santon (Italy/Inter Milan)
Georgy Shennikov (Russia/CSKA Moscow)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland/Basel)
Harmeet Singh (Norway/Valerenga)
Moussa Sissoko (France/Toulouse)
Robin Soder (Sweden/IFK Gothenburg)
Miroslav Stoch (Slovakia/Fenerbahce)
Yannis Tafer (France/Toulouse)
Thiago (Spain/Barcelona)
Lacina Traore (Ivory Coast/Cluj)
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (Netherlands/FC Utrecht)
Carlos Vela (Mexico/Arsenal)
Jelle Vossen (Belgium/Genk)
Ante Vukusic (Croatia/Hajduk Split)
Theo Walcott (England/Arsenal)
Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia/Rangers)
Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands/Feyenoord)
Jack Wilshere (England/Arsenal)
Danny Wilson (Scotland/Liverpool)
Siyanda Xulu (South Africa/Mamelodi Sundowns)
Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine/Dinamo Kiev)
Sercan Yildirim (Turkey/Bursaspor)

  1. Christopher Wimmer
    commented on: November 4, 2010 at 7:32 a.m.
    Are there any Women that could have made the list?
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: November 4, 2010 at 8:56 a.m.
    Since most Americans would say that the previous list got 1 out of 3 right as regards American players, it would be interesting to see the entire original list to see what their percentages were for the total 100 they picked 9 years ago.
  1. C. Zee
    commented on: November 4, 2010 at 10:05 a.m.
    @ Christopher - this may be one of the reasons that America is not a focus of the football world. When there are polls on the "best players" in America, some misfortunates offer up Mia Hamm et al or other women players ... How does that even factor in the professional footballing world ? To say that certain player on the above list are better than Danny Mwanga or Andy Najar is perhaps the view of their career potential - i.e. playing for a big club in Europe. This measuring stick is still used by Latin America, Asia and Africa. For every Clint Dempsey or Maurice Edu, there are 100 African and 100 South Americans who make it in europe before their American counterparts. The U.S. still does not provide "complete" footballers to the market. The ideas behind the N.Y. Cosmos Academys, if they prevail, may be the answer.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: November 4, 2010 at 5:28 p.m.
    I'm curious why talented Spanish GK Sergio Asenjo did not make this list despite his concussion injury from May 2010. Another talented Spanish GK, David de Gea, also did not make this list.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: November 4, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.
    My bad, de Gea did make the list, good call SA, he's been having a great season so far and he is only 19.

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