The World Cup is the biggest stage for upcoming footballers to showcase their talent and skills. In the previous editions, we've seen the likes of Paul Pogba, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski, who were vital cogs behind the success of their country, go on to enjoy stellar club careers. Needless to say, reputations are built and destroyed in an instance, especially for younger players as the whole world is watching them.
The 2018 World Cup was one of the most entertaining ones we've seen in recent history. We saw some youngsters grab some eyeballs and announce themselves, making them a force to reckon with in the future. As we draw the curtains on the tournament, we take a look at the top 5 young guns who impressed the most in Russia.
#5 Francis Uzoho
There were fears in the goalkeeping department for Nigeria ahead of the World Cup, but, the 19-year old keeper stepped up to the task and proved his critics wrong. Uzoho, who made his World Cup debut, will be fairly satisfied with his performance despite Nigeria's group stage exit. The youngster impressed with his immense shot-stopping ability and his command at the post. The next step for him would be to gain some first team experience having spent majority of last season in the reserves Spanish club Deportivo de La Coruna.
#4 Aleksandr Golovin
The youngster was instrumental to hosts' run to the quarterfinals. He controlled the midfield for Russia providing two assists and scoring one goal in the tournament. The CSK Moscow midfielder showcased his immense dribbling ability and dead ball skills. His performances in Russia have put on the radar of many European clubs, with Chelsea looking the most imminent destination.
#3 Benjamin Pavard
Relatively unknown before the tournament, the Stuttgart defender proved to be indispensable to Didier Deschamps squad. The 22-year capped his debut World Cup campaign with a superb goal against Argentina in the last-16, which has prominently made its way into the montage of best moments from the competition. The youngster is reportedly a subject of interest from many top European teams, with like Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Real Madrid chasing his signature.
#2 Hirving Lozano
Lozano was one of the most eye-catching players in the Mexican side. The youngster turned heads with his electrifying pace and a keen eye for pass, making him threat in the attacking third. The Mexican doubles up as an attacker and a striker, and that makes him an exciting addition to any side. It is being reported that many top Premier League clubs are pursuing his signature.
#1 Kylian Mbappe
Known for his blistering pace and killer eye for goal, the 19-year old lived up to his reputation in Russia. Mbappe was key to France's success, having scored four goals and bagging the Golden Ball for his sensational performances. At this rate, the 19-year old is on course for more glory and it wouldn't be surprising to see him lift the Ballon d'Or in near future. However, PSG will face a tough challenge of keeping the youngster, with him being linked with moves away from the Parc de Princess.