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FIFA U-20 World Cup: 5 players to watch out for in the tournament

There will be a wealth of talent on display in the competition, and we have picked out 5 outstanding players who could make the difference.

Top 5 / Top 10 20 May 2017, 17:35 IST
FC Barcelona U18 v Real Zaragoza U18 : News Photo
The Asian Messi

Saturday saw the beginning of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, a tournament where many of the stars of the future will have the opportunity to strut their stuff on a global stage.

24 teams from across the globe will take part in the competition, with prospects from all over the world seeking glory. It is, however, a strong France side who are favourites to win the competition, followed closely by a Uruguay side that boasts a strong contingent of domestic players.

Here are six starlets that it will be particularly worth keeping an eye out for during the competition, which runs until June 11.

#1 Lee Seung-woo (Barcelona, South Korea)

The host nation’s great hope lies with Barcelona youngster Lee Seung-woo, who has the rather intimidating reputation of being ‘Asia’s Messi’ to live up to. Although he has not featured for the Catalans’ first team, he has become famous courtesy of YouTube clips that have shown him dazzling opposing defenders with his speed and ball control. 

The 19-year-old has been earmarked by Barca as one of their top prospects, although he was victim to the club’s infringement of FIFA’s Youth Eligibility Rules and banned from playing competitive football until he turned 18 in January 2016. 

Seung-woo signed for the Catalans in 2011 after impressing at the Danone Cup in South Africa aged just 13. He briefly played for Barcelona B, but he caught the eye most prominently in the UEFA Youth League, in which he scored once and set up two as his side reached the semi-finals.

Barcelona club-mate Paik Seung-ho is another youngster with a good deal of expectation upon him, though having been dubbed his nation’s Messi, it is clear who the burden of expectation lies heaviest upon.

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