The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest pedestals to stardom for many young footballers and as such, many players seek the opportunity to represent their nations at the global showpiece.
As a result, the best of the best get to battle for football’s top honour every four years and many young players will go on to become legends, à lá Pele and, in recent history, Kylian Mbappe.
Here are five of the world’s best who we could be seeing for the first time at Qatar 2022.
The 22-year-old Serbian is already an established forward in the Serie A after three and a half incredible seasons with Fiorentina. In that time, he gave the big boys a run for their money, finishing in the top five of leading Serie A in all those seasons regardless if where Fiorentina ended up.
Now with Juventus as Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement, Vlahovic has continued to show his quality and the world cannot wait to see what he can do with Serbia come November 2022.
At this rate, only injuries or an unfortunate dip in form will stop the world from watching Vlahovic with Serbia at the World Cup.
The 19-year-old midfielder is already a staple in Luis Enrique’s Spain and has been seen as a replacement for either of Xavi Hernandez or Andres Iniesta in both Spain and Barcelona’s setups.
Earlier in February 2022, Xavi, manager of Barcelona, compared him to his former midfield partner Iniesta. Prior to that glowing comparison, Pedri had won the Kopa trophy for best young player in the world and the European golden boy award for best young player in Europe.
He already has tournament experience with Spain having played in both the Euros and the Olympic games in 2021.
Pedri will surely be a joy to watch at the 2022 Qatar World Cup and is most likely to grab many headlines at the tournament.
The inclusion of Gareth Bale in this list is unusual, because he is not a young player. His inclusion, however, is due to the fact that Wales have not played in the World Cup since 1958.
The Dragons are only two matches away from participating in the tournament for the first time in 64 years. They will be led by Gareth Bale in those matches, and in the World Cup if they qualify.
An appearance at the global showpiece in Qatar will be a beautiful addition to the feathers on the hat of Bale, who is Wales all-time leading goalscorer and Britain’s most accomplished footballer ever.
The World Cup could also be Bale’s last as well as his first, as the Real Madrid forward is reported to be hinging his continuity in the sport on the World Cup, after which he may be hanging his professional boots.
Vinicius Junior has been one of the most exciting stars in football in the past few years but finally came into his own in the season leading up to the global showpiece.
Fans are even more excited as to what he will have to offer in the showpiece of legends come November 2022 in Qatar.
He has tournament experience with Brazil and is a trusted player for Seleção Canarinho already. Bar an unfortunate incident or a bad slump in form, the Real Madrid forward is surely going to be entertaining fans and neutrals playing for Brazil at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Englishman of Nigerian heritage is also one player who many fans look forward to seeing at Qatar come November.
The 20-year-old is already Arsenal’s most important player and a key member of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions setup for England.
His only tournament experience for England ended on a bad note but his importance to the squad is such that English fans could revolt if he is not called up to their World Cup squad.
Saka will surely be setting his sights on a great tournament in order to make up for his unfortunate penalty miss which saw England lose the Euro 2020 title to Italy.