Soccer is a sport that is consistently churning. Calling it the world’s sport is certainly appropriate when consider the fervor that each international competition bring. Whether it is the Copa America, Olympics, World Cup, Euros and even the UEFA Champions League, the internet and fan bases seem to be at a non-stop buzz as the discussion of the competition continues. A portion of this chatter is always created by the arrival of new talent that larger domestic clubs seem to purchase in each passing year. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo heading to Manchester United, Neymar to playing at Barcelona after starting at Santos, Alexandre Pato moving from Internacional to AC Milan when he could not play in Europe for six months due to his age, and even Sergio Ramos who was signed by Real Madrid at 19 years of age after being awarded La Liga’s breakthrough player are all examples of the temptation made by clubs to acquire world class talent.
Over the past two or three years it seems as though the next generation of talent has emerged in world football. From Belgium’s Golden Generation, to England’s revitalization with the rise of Harry Kane, and even Brazil’s legacy as the dominant South American team are all large questions for the future. Those questions, will of course be answered by their under 25 talent.
The first player to mention is Paul Pogba. Let go by Manchester United for free, Pogba has slowly materialized into a midfield force for Juventus. Just this past season alone, the Frenchman totaled 8 goals and 12 assists in the 35 games he appeared for the Italian champions.
Now compare that to Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez. The Colombian international made a name for himself in the 2014 World Cup, and that string of performances lead to his purchase by Los Blancos. Even though Real has a stacked midfield that features Gareth Bale, Ronaldo, Toni Kross, and Luka Modric, Rodriguez has been able to perform well. Cataloging 13 goals and 12 assists in 35 matches across all competitions.