The European football season has come to an end as the names of the winners have been out and the only word that comes to mind is exhilarating. Unsurprisingly, the season end brings with it a two month period of agony and suffering for football fans, who deeply miss their favourite teams in action. One thing that brings some amount of relief during this time is the FIFA Confederation Cup or simply the Confed cup.
An extension to the Saudi Arabian King Fahd Cup, the Confed Cup is one-of-a-kind quadrennial phenomenon. It involves the forthcoming FIFA World Cup hosts take on winners from six continents as well as the defending world champions.
While the official rankings suggest Germany be the favourites, a closer look at their squad for the tournament tells the real story. Almost all the big stars have been left out either due to injury or to give them some much-needed rest. The team selected consists of young and upcoming stars who have the opportunity to showcase their skills in order to earn a place in Germany’s World Cup squad.
Note: Players like Joshua Kimmich, Jonas Hector and Julian Draxler already showcased their potential to the world to some extent at EURO 2016 and therefore are not included in the list.
#5 Niklas Sule
While people are busy speculating which big star can join Bayern Munich this summer, the one name that everyone is tending to overlook is one that has already joined the Bavarians – German centre-back Niklas Sule. Standing at 6’5”, the 21-year-old is regarded as the future of the German defence.
Considered a complete defender with the perfect blend of power and technique, Sule also possesses sharp aerial instincts. The youngster has been described as a quick-learner and has represented Germany at various levels. He was part of the Germany’s UEFA European U-17 Championship as well as the Olympics team in 2012 and 2016 respectively, both of which finished as runner’s up.
At club level, he came into limelight for his incredible performance with TSG1899 Hoffenheim as he helped them achieve a best-ever fourth place finish in the league in the recently concluded season, helping them qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
However, now a of Bayern Munich, he would need to fight for a place in the team which has names like Mat Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez at their disposal in the same position.
The Confed Cup gives him an opportunity to play against some of the best attackers in the world, namely Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez. An impressive performance at this stage can help him fill the empty spot created by the retirement of Per Mertesacker for next year's FIFA World Cup.