24 & Under: The Best Young World Cup XI

24 & Under: The Best Young World Cup XI

19 Jul 2018, 13:25

What a tournament. We've picked out our best XI made up of players aged 24 or younger. Have we left anyone out?

Jordan Pickford was an assured performer for England, making a wonder save in the round of 16 against Colombia and making further saves, helping the Three Lions to their first ever penalty shootout win at the World Cup.

Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard, usually a centre-back, capped the tournament of his life with a World Cup winner's medal and a stunning strike against Argentina in the round of 16 all from fullback. 23-year-old José Giménez bowed out in the quarters with Uruguay but had a solid tournament. He already had 46 international caps. Barcelona man Samuel Umtiti was dependable all tournament and is developing into one of the finest central defenders in the world already. Left fullback Lucas Hernandez was also a reliable presence for France, not spectacular but hugely dependable, all at the age of 22.

Mateo Kovacic was always useful off the bench for Croatia, but with some of the other midfielders reaching the autumn of their careers, he might become a key component for club and country. Lucas Torreira was an ever-present for Uruguay in the knockouts and the feisty 22-year-old defensive midfielder recently sealed a big move to Arsenal from Sampdoria. Just ahead of them sits 21-year-old Youri Tielemans, not a regular for Belgium but a wonderfully talented player who will become a key man in the post-Golden Generation era. 

Harry Kane's 6 goals for England mean that he leads the line as one of the oldest men in the side, in fact, he turns 25 in nine days time so he just makes the cut. Ousmane Dembélé is now a World Cup winner and after putting his injury troubles aside, he should become a force for Barcelona in 2018/2019. That only leaves the Golden Boy, rightly named as the best young player at the World Cup, Kylian Mbappé. The first teenager to score in a Final since Pele literally has the world at his feet. 

Read more: All-Star XI - team of the tournament from Russia

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