5 Teenagers who took the World Cup by storm
As Kylian Mbappe scored the winner against Peru on Matchday 2, the 19-year old Frenchman became only the 18th teenager to score at the World cup finals. Mbappe is certainly a special talent and a proof of the saying “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.”
Talents such as Mbappe are once in generation players and therefore need to be nurtured carefully. World Cups have had a habit of springing in pleasant surprises including youngsters showcasing maturity far beyond their age.
Here are 5 such players who performed admirably at the World Cup at such a young age:
#5 Lionel Messi (2006)
Perhaps the greatest player of this generation alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi has always been destined for greatness since his teenage days. Having made his Barcelona debut at the age of 17, International recognition wasn’t too far behind for the youngster.
Therefore, it was no surprise to see the 18-year old pack his bags for the 2006 World cup. Messi remained on the bench for their opening day victory against the Ivory Coast but soon made his World cup debut against Serbia and Montenegro, coming on as a second-half substitute.
The rising star did not disappoint as he scored one and set up another despite playing just 15 minutes. Messi made another cameo appearance against Mexico in the round of 16 in which he appeared to score the winner but it was controversially ruled offside.
The teenager was dropped for Argentina’s 4-2 quarterfinal loss to Germany, a decision which garnered widespread criticism from the Argentinian press and supporters.
Now in his 4th world cup, the 31-year old still has a chance to end his International trophy drought as his side take on a strong French team in the round of 16 clash.