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What happens if you promote wonderkids too soon?

When is the right time to promote a young player to a more senior team? It is a question coaches cannot ignore. Keep a player within their comfort zone for too long and you risk slowing development or regression. Promote them too soon and you can damage the flow, scarring or scaring the player as…

Kingsley Coman France Bayern Munich PSG transfer wonderkid

Coman is King of the wonderkid transfer market

What is Kingsley Coman’s secret? His ability is well known. The France forward is the best 19-year-old playing in the world right now. He has played for Paris Saint Germain, Juventus and Bayern Munich before his twentieth birthday. But it is hardly unusual for a 21st century wonderkids to have done the rounds of Europe’s…

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The youngest and shortest Copa America keeper: Wuilker Farinez

Wuilker Farinez had only been a goalkeeper for four years when he made his full international debut for Venezuela.   He is 18. The friendly with Panama on May 25, 2016 was Farinez first official international appearance.  He was in the Venezuela squad for the 2015 Copa America and is the youngest goalkeeper at the Copa America…

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Youth at the heart of van Gaal’s United legacy

Goodbye then Louis van Gaal, ex-Manchester United manager. Your passing will be celebrated more than it is mourned. The fans hated your suffocating, defensive football. While the players were an irate email away from mutiny. An FA Cup and a fifth place finish after spending £250 million is not nearly enough. But when the Dutchman’s…

cayman togashi

Japan’s Cinderella Boy is a tax-haven fairytale

There are not many footballers named after tax havens. But it is not just his name which makes Cayman Togashi unique. The Yokohama F Marinos striker is enjoying a rags-to-riches twelve months that has seen Japanese media label him the Cinderella Boy. Until last summer he was a struggling university player but now he is at…

sullay kaikai

Sullay Kaikai shows hard work + talent + chance = success

Talent in football is nothing without dedication and persistence. Few players demonstrate this more powerfully than Sullay Kaikai of Crystal Palace. His talent is considerable but it is commitment and diligence that have got him to the verge of his Premier League debut. But his start at the club was not exactly prodigious. Kaikai was 15…

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Cesare Maldini taught Italy how to win the World Cup

Cesare Maldini, who has passed away at the age of 84, was an AC Milan legend and one of the most successful coaches in the history of European youth football. Under his tutelage Italy won an unprecedented three consecutive UEFA Under 21 titles in 1992, 1994 and 1996. He was coach of the full national…

yeferson soteldo zamora venezuela

Yeferson Soteldo The Little Big Man

Footballers come in all shapes and sizes but not many are shorter than Yeferson Soteldo. The 18-year-old is the biggest and smallest talent in Venezuelan football. He stands at just 160cm tall. Lionel Messi is short but Soteldo is a full ten centimetres shorter than the Argentinian giant. If you are 160cm and want to…

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AFC U23 Preview

The Asian Under 23 Championship starts in Qatar today, the prize for the top three teams is a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. South Korea, Japan and the UAE were Asia’s representatives at London 2012.  There is no standout team this time around with several  strong contenders capable of qualification. Here we…

most valuable teenagers europe big 5 leagues

The Most Valuable Teenagers in Europe

The estimable CIES Football Observatory have ranked the most valuable players in Europe’s Big 5 leagues. Unsurprisingly Lionel Messi tops the list, valued at a colossal €250.7 million. Neymar is in second place ahead of Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur tops the list of valuable teenagers. The CIES…

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