The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the 22nd edition of the quadrennial international men’s football tournament, which will be contested by national teams from FIFA’s member associations. From November 21 to December 18, 2022, it will be held in Qatar.
The World Cup frequently provides opportunities for young players to thrive on the largest platform of all, and Qatar will be no exception.
We’ve compiled a list of 15 young players to watch at the 2022 World Cup from some of the qualified nations, courtesy of espn.com and goal.com
Disclaimer: This list is not ranked.
- JUDE BELLINGHAM
Jude Bellingham joined Birmingham City as an under-8 player, then became the club’s youngest ever first-team player when he made his senior debut in August 2019, at the age of 16, and played regularly throughout the 2019–20 season. He joined Borussia Dortmund in July 2020 and became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer in his first competitive match.
He was a member of England’s under-15, under-16, under-17, and under-21 squads. He made his senior team debut in November 2020 and represented the country at UEFA Euro 2020.
- KARIM ADEYEMI
Karim Adeyemii was born in the German city of Munich to a Nigerian father and a Romanian mother. He is a German youth international, having played for the under-16s, under-17s, and under-21s. On 5 September 2021, he made his senior team debut for Germany in a 6–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification win over Armenia, coming on as a late substitute and scoring his side’s sixth goal in the first minute of second-half injury time.
Because Adeyemi was a Red Bull Salzburg player on his debut, he was the first player from an Austrian club to play for the German senior national team in the postwar period.
- CHARLES DE KETELAERE
Charles De Ketelaere studied law at university before abandoning it when his football career took off. In November 2020, he was called up to the senior Belgium national team squad and made his debut as a substitute against Switzerland.
He scored his first international goal for Belgium in a 2–1 loss to Italy in the Nations League third-place playoff match on October 10, 2021.
- PABLO MARTÍN PÁEZ GAVIRA
Gavi was hailed as a highly promising young player in 2021 by ESPN’s Graham Hunter, who compared him to former Barcelona midfielders Xavi and Andrés Iniesta due to his footballing qualities such as dribbling, anticipation, intelligence, vision, passing, first touch, close control, change of pace, and ability to turn quickly to get out of tight spaces and initiate counter-attacks.
Following his performance in Spain’s 2021 Nations League Finals semi-final victory over Italy, Italian defender Emerson Palmieri described Gavi as a player with “huge potential.”
- JULIAN ALVAREZ
Julian Alvarez is a striker who can also play as a winger. On 3 June 2021, he made his Argentina national football team debut against Chile in a World Cup qualifier. In the 62nd minute, he came on to replace Angel Di Maria. In a 1-1 tie against Ecuador on March 29, 2022, he scored his first international goal.
- HARVEY ELLIOT
made his first-team debut for Fulham in September 2018, becoming the club’s youngest player to play in the EFL Cup at the age of 15 years and 174 days. He became the Premier League’s youngest player in May 2019, at the age of 16.
- RAYAN CHERKI
Rayan Cherki is a product of Lyon’s youth academy and is regarded as one of the club’s brightest prospects. At the age of 15, he joined their reserve team in the Championnat National 2.
Cherki signed his first professional contract with Lyon until 2022 on July 7, 2019. On October 19, 2019, he made his professional debut in a Ligue 1 match against Dijon, drawing 0–0.
After scoring four goals in the 2019–20 UEFA Youth League, he made his senior European debut on 27 November 2019 against Zenit in a Champions League group stage game, replacing Maxwel Cornet in the 74th minute of a 2–0 loss.
- FLORIAN WIRTZ
is an attacking midfielder who can also play as an inverted winger on the left side of the field. He is a very dynamic midfielder who covers a lot of ground and has a clear offensive mindset.
Wirtz received his first senior team call-up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March 2021. On September 2, he made his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein, which he won 2–0 on the road. In the 82nd minute, he came on to replace Joshua Kimmich.
- MOHAMMED DARAMY
Mohammed Daramy is a former Schalke 04 striker and Denmark international Ebbe Sand, described Daramy as a player who is fast, strong in “one-on-one situations” and as “extremely talented”.
- YEREMI PINO
Yeremi Pino primarily plays as a right winger for La Liga club Villarreal and the Spanish national team. Yeremi scored four goals as Villarreal defeated RCD Espanyol 5–1 at home on February 27, 2022, despite having only two goals for the season prior to the game. He also became the youngest player in La Liga history to score a hat-trick in the first half.
- JAMAL MUSIALA
Jamal Musiala, who was born in Germany to a Nigerian father and a German mother and raised primarily in England, represented both Germany and England at youth level before pledging his allegiance to the German national team for future games in February 2021, representing the side at UEFA Euro 2020.
- DEVYNE RENSCH
In the UEFA Europa League, Devyne Rensch made his debut against Lille OSC. On March 21, he scored his first goal for Ajax in a 5–0 home win over ADO Den Haag. Throughout the season, he saw increased playing time as a right back, owing in part to injuries to other players.
Rensch performed admirably in this role and was an Ajax starter in the second half of the season. He won his first silverware with Ajax on April 18, 2021, when he defeated Vitesse in the KNVB Cup final. Following that, the Eredivisie was also won.
- FELIX AFENA-GYAN
Felix Afena-Gyan is a quick striker who can play in a variety of attacking positions. On 24 October, he was called up to the senior team for Roma’s Serie A match against Napoli.
On October 27, he made his professional debut against Cagliari. On November 21, he came off the bench to score two late goals in a 2–0 win over Genoa. With his brace, he became the first player born in 2003 to score in Serie A.
- CADEN CLARK
On loan from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, Caden Clark plays as an attacking midfielder for the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
Clark made his debut for the New York Red Bulls on October 10, 2020, and scored against Atlanta United in a 1–0 win for the club, becoming the league’s fifth youngest player to do so. He followed that up with a game-tying goal from outside the box in his second appearance for the Red Bulls, after coming on as a sub in the second half, and secured a point for the Red Bulls against Toronto FC on October 14, 2020, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to do so.
- ANDREAS SCHYELDERUP
Andreas Schyelderup plays as a midfielder for Nordsjaelland, a Danish Superliga club. He became the 13th youngest player in Superliga history at the age of 16. On March 12, he scored his first senior goal for the club in a 3–0 win over local rivals Lyngby.
In doing so, he broke the club’s record for the youngest goalscorer in Superliga history, edging out teammate Tochi Chukwuani’s previous season record, and he became the league’s fourth youngest player overall. Schjelderup has expressed admiration for fellow Norwegians Erling Haaland and Martin ødegaard.
Here’s a quick recap on our list:
● Jude Bellingham
● Karim Adeyemi
● Charles De Ketelaere
● Julian Alvarez
● Harvey Elliot
● Rayan Cherki
● Florian Wirtz
● Mohammed Daramy
● Yeremi Pino
● Jamal Musiak
● Devyne Rensch
● Felix Afena-Gyan
● Caden Clark
● Andreas Schyelderup
Please let us know if we missed any of your new favorite young players.