Launch­pad to glory

Sportstar - - WORLD CUP YOUNG GUNS -

The World Cup has of­ten been a launch­pad for the best young foot­ballers from around the globe. While many of the best young­sters to­day are un­der the spot­light even be­fore they play for their coun­tries thanks to their club ca­reers, the World Cup none­the­less is a chance for el­e­va­tion from merely be­ing among the best to su­per­star­dom. And the 2018 edi­tion in Rus­sia was no dif­fer­ent. Here are nine play­ers un­der the age of 24 who im­pressed us the most.

When the 23­man squads were an­nounced, Pavard looked like an in­ter­est­ing pick by Di­dier Deschamps. Signed by Stuttgart from Lille, his nor­mal po­si­tion at club level is cen­tre­back. With a team whose mid­field and at­tack were more in­clined to at­tack­ing, Deschamps pushed him out of po­si­tion to right­back to make the most of his de­fen­sive game. His pres­ence helped An­toine Griez­mann and Kylian Mbappe skip their de­fen­sive du­ties reg­u­larly and he even chipped in with a stun­ning goal — an equaliser against Ar­gentina in the round of 16.

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