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http://goal.com/en/articolo.aspx?contenutoid=616802

Gill Clark picks out the top five teenagers in Europe today. A few came close to making this list, but in the end, most of them pretty much picked themselves...

Although the current superstars of football are very young, in footballing terms they are already breaking into middle age. So whilst Robinho (24), Rooney (22), Fabregas (20), Messi (20) and Ronaldo (23) are hitting their twenties, there is already a whole new batch of teenagers waiting in the wings, ready and eager to step into their boots. So step aside Wayne, Cesc, Lionel and Cristiano - it's time to find out who are the new kids on the block.

5. Theo Walcott (Arsenal – 18)

The jury is still very much out on 18-year-old Walcott; however, there have been recent signs that he is finally starting to make an impact at Arsenal. Having scored in last season's Carling Cup Final against Chelsea, he has also scored his first Champions League goals against Slavia Prague at the end of 2007 before finally netting in the Premiership with a brace against Birmingham City. Then there is also his recent performance as a sub in the San Siro to consider as Arsenal knocked AC Milan out of the Champions League.

Of course having team mates of the calibre of Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas is bound to help the young man and under Arsene Wenger's tutelage one can imagine the youngster can only improve. Certainly if his finishing could be honed to match his devastating pace, young Walcott will go far.

When you think that he already has one World Cup behind him (despite the fact he didn't actually make it onto the pitch) and he could end the season clutching a Premiership winner's medal and possibly even a Champions League medal, the future suddenly looks incredibly bright for Walcott. Very much a case of watch this space.

4. Bojan Krkiæ (Barcelona - 17)

At 17, already in the first team squad at Barcelona, with a prodigious talent for dribbling and a slight physique, it is easy to see why Bojan has inevitably been labelled with the tag of, ‘the new Messi'. High praise indeed, especially when young Messi is barely out of his teens himself.

So why all the fuss? Well, the teenage Bojan is already breaking records and looks certain to break a few more in the future. He is the youngest ever player to feature in the Champions League (after replacing Messi as a sub against Lyon in September 2007). He is also Barcelona's youngest ever league goal scorer after netting against Villarreal. In fact if he lives up to his potential there will be many more records broken before Bojan hangs up his boots.

On the international front Bojan qualifies for both Spain and Serbia (having a Serbian father and a Spanish mother) and unsurprisingly both countries have shown huge interest in recruiting the teenager. Spain look to have secured his services and with a bit of luck we may just see Bojan this summer at Euro 2008.

3. Alexandre Pato (AC Milan – 18)

Although injury has interrupted the start of his AC Milan career, the fact that the (then) reigning European Champions were willing to splash out some 22 million Euros for a teenager means somebody, somewhere knows something.

The Brazilian teenager, Pato was originally signed in August 2007 but unable to make his debut until January 2008 due to UEFA regulations. However after a handful of appearances and his first goals for Milan an ankle injury stopped his progress but even so the signs were encouraging.

Pato is undoubtedly the future of AC Milan as this ageing team finally starts to break up. However, if he manages to be anything near as successful as his fading colleagues Maldini, Nesta, Inzaghi, Seedorf and co he will have enjoyed some career.

2. Anderson (Manchester United - 19)

Anderson had a quiet start to the season but slowly and surely he has come into his own and when you realise that Paul Scholes was out for over three months of the current season and wasn't even missed you begin to realise the influence the Brazilian has brought to United's midfield already.

Tough in the tackle and blessed with wonderful touch and distribution, adding goals to his game has to be his next challenge. However, having already got the better of Cesc Fabregas in United's two exchanges with Arsenal this season it's easy to forget Anderson is only 19 and in his first season in England.

If the goals arrive and his form continues on its current trajectory, the retirement of Paul Scholes will surely be hastened, and when it comes to compliments, they don't get much higher than that.

1. Sergio Agüero (Atletico Madrid – 19)

In breaking the record as the youngest player to play in the Argentine First Division at only 15, the young Argentinian, Agüero, is already following in the footsteps of a certain Mr. D. Maradona.

Signed from Argentinian side Independiente by Atletico Madrid for 20 million Euros in May 2006, Agüero had a slow start to his first season but has blossomed ever since. His partnership up front with Diego Forlan for Atletico has been scintillating this season and ensured that Atletico now rival Barcelona as the great entertainers of La Liga. Aguero's performances have also meant that former golden boy Fernando Torres hasn't really been missed, despite the fact he has been banging them in for new club Liverpool.

Having already scored 12 goals in 24 games alongside Forlan (who has a similarly impressive 11 in 23) the Atletico Madrid front two are currently one of the hottest strike partnerships in Europe at the moment. If they continue their fine form Atletico may just be playing Champions League football next season, a competition Aguero is more than fit to grace.
 
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All good choices except Walcott.
Two league goals in two years
does not a wonderkid make.
Nani is better.
 

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BOJAN :D one of my faves :)
And i'm glad anderson got second :)

Nani's not a teenager... Gio Dos Santos should take walcott's place.
 

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Agree... Walcott doesn't make the cut of being the top five. Without his pace he is nothing... He dun bring his brains to the pitch, seldom see him make a good cross past the first defender. Messi should be there in the top 5, he's still in his teens. Looks like Argentina are strong contenders for the next World cup...

:) Agree... Walcott doesn't make the cut of being the top five. Without his pace he is nothing... He dun bring his brains to the pitch, seldom see him make a good cross past the first defender. Messi should be there in the top 5, he's still in his teens. Looks like Argentina are strong contenders for the next World cup...
 

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Walcott is a fantastic player. He is a forward but Wenger uses him as a wide midfielder so he don't score a lot of goals. He is one of the fastest player in the league and he is capable to change a game.. For example Milan - Arsenal
 

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is it just me or Torres style of play is similar to Forlan IN LA LIGA ( forget about his EPL time )
and from what i've seen - there is too much hype about dos santos - he isn't ready for a top club just yet. has anyone heard about rakitic - he's apparently wanted by inter
 
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dckyfoxes said:
Agree... Walcott doesn't make the cut of being the top five. Without his pace he is nothing... He dun bring his brains to the pitch, seldom see him make a good cross past the first defender. Messi should be there in the top 5, he's still in his teens. Looks like Argentina are strong contenders for the next World cup...
He's twenteen ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Messi

CROoney from Dubrovnik said:
there is too much hype about dos santos - he isn't ready for a top club just yet

Great player already and only 18, he'll be a star in the future.
 

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Pato is class.
Anderson is immense.
Aguero is just a carbon copy of Messi.
Bojan is a fantastic player.
Theo Walcott isnt, i dont rate him dont think he will make it at Arsenal seems to be played out on the wing all the time when i always thought he was a forward !?
 
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