Many promising young players have burst onto the world football scene in recent times.
After rising through the ranks at some of the best football clubs in the world, these players have made a seemingly seamless transition to senior football. Some of these players have belied their young years to become permanent fixtures at top-5 league clubs in Europe.
Top 10 U-19 players in world football at the moment
Last season, Erling Braut Haaland attracted the attention of the football world when he scored a hat-trick on his Champions League debut en route to ten goals in his first season in the competition.
Precocious English winger Jadon Sancho has already attracted the interest of top football clubs in the world. He has been linked to the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United courtesy his age-defying exploits for Borussia Dortmund in the last few seasons.
On that note, let us have a look at the ten best under-19 players in world football at the moment.
#10 Rayan Cherki
Rayan Cherki scored in Lyon's comprehensive 7-0 win over Bourg-Peronnas in the third round of the 2019-20 Coupe de France to become the youngest scorer in the club's history.
The 17-year-old wonderkid had a hand in all four goals - scoring two and assisting two - in Lyon's thrilling 4-3 win over Nantes in the next round, and announced himself as one to watch out for in the years to come.
Cherki, who plays as an attacking midfielder for the French football club, recently revealed that he was discovered by a Lyon coach while playing football in a parking lot.
"It was done in a parking lot. As usual, I was with my ball. I started to juggle, and I was lucky to come across an OL coach, who suggested that I go do tests."
Although the two-footed Cherki is yet to score in Ligue 1 or in the Champions League, he became the youngest player to appear in the knockout stage of the latter competition when he came on as a substitute against Bayern Munich in last season's semi-final.
#9 Ryan Gravenberch
Likened with French World Cup winner Paul Pogba, Ryan Gravenberch is one of the most exciting prospects to have emerged from Ajax's famous De Toekomst academy.
Last season, the versatile central midfielder, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, became the youngest Eredivisie debutant for Ajax.
Gravenberch's composure in the middle of the football pitch belies his 18 years of age. His positional awareness and versatility are impressive for a player of his age.
Former Netherlands international Ronald de Boer thinks that Gravenberch is a more promising prospect than a certain Matthijs de Ligt, who led Ajax to a fairytale run to the Champions League semi-finals in 201-19. He said:
"Matthijs might have been exceptional at that age, but Gravenberch has unrivalled qualities."
Pedri made his professional debut for Las Palmas in the 2019-20 Spanish second division and became the club's youngest-ever scorer at the age of 16 before he was snapped up by Barcelona.
The self-confessed Barcelona fan has already scored twice for the Blaugrana this season. His first goal, against Ferencvaros in the Champions League, marked the first instance of two players aged 17 or under scoring for a club in the competition.
Pedri, who is an attacking midfielder by trade and idolises Andres Iniesta, has exceptional positional awareness and skills on the ball. He completed an impressive 40 of 42 passes in Barcelona's 2-0 win at Juventus earlier in the season.
Not surprisingly, Pepe Mel, his manager at Las Palmas, thinks highly of the young football player.
"Barcelona have made a good investment. He understands the spaces very well, when he has to go inside and leave space on the outside or when to realise you have numerical superiorities in certain areas of the pitch," said Mel about Pedri.
#7 Giovanni Reyna
One of the most promising football players to have emerged from the US in recent times, Giovanni Reyna has already made an impact at Borussia Dortmund since his arrival from the MLS.
Reyna has already scored three goals and provided seven assists in 29 games for the German football club.
The acquisition of the 17-year-old attacking midfielder has been termed by the club's managing director Carsten Cramer as akin to winning the lottery. He said:
"His potential is huge. Just like Christian (Pulisic), he is not only an outstanding footballer, but also a really good guy. For us, it is a six in the lottery in terms of sport and marketing. But the latter component was not decisive for us in bringing in the boy. We do not commit to deals according to nationality or marketing value, but according to sporting criteria."