7 young soccer stars at Copa America Centenario
For most people, just knowing the top players in a tournament is fine. However, what about the players who are going to hit it big at the next World Cup? With the growing popularity of Football Manager-type computer games, the public is more informed on footballers than they’ve ever been before.
Fans of the sport are always looking out for the next great star. If it’s to say that they heard of said player first or just to know what a great player was like before they become big. The problem is that many people base their view of a player, on how they played, on a video game. That’s a very tricky and problematic thing to do, since very few ever make it big. If video games produced top talent, then French midfielder Lenny Nangis would be a better player.
Here are seven players who played in Copa whom you all need to know about.
Christian Pulisic (17, USA and Borussia Dortmund, midfielder)
One of the very few young American players to play at a top German club, Christian got significant playing time in the Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions league this past season. He is a scorer, and can play as a number 10, as he did with his club team. The one worry is that US Soccer supporters may latch onto him and hype him to Freddy Adu levels. However, Christian has shown that he has the talent and has played against difficult opponents in the Bundesliga. By the time World Cup 2018 rolls around, he should be a star on the world stage.
Gabriel Barbosa (18, Brazil and Santos, striker)
He already has a nickname (Gabigol), and has scored in the Copa America. Gabigol is considered to be the best to come from Santos since Neymar. He signed his first professional contract with Santos at 16, and reportedly has a $50 million buyout clause.
Gabigol is an out and out two footed striker, and has a great work rate. Unlike some other top young strikers, he is a good passer, and helps out teammates on the pitch when the ball is in the opposite end. It has been rumored that Barcelona already wants him, though they may have to fight off the advances of many other clubs.
Renato Tapia (21, Peru and Feyenoord, defensive midfielder)
Tapia had a failed trial at Liverpool when the doctors didn’t think he’d be big enough to play defense, which he doesn’t anyway. Renato is a tough, physical midfielder who will get stuck in. He can score, but think of him in the same lines of Arturo Vidal. Renato will be a captain for club and country in his career.