This article is part of our World Cup series.
The 2022 World Cup begins Nov. 20 and RotoWire will be releasing a steady stream of betting and fantasy content leading up to the tournament, most of which can be found on our article hub.
This article covers some of the best and brightest young stars in the world, ones to surely keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Each one of these players is 23 years old or younger, making them rising stars to watch ahead of the World Cup.
5 Players To Watch For The 2022 World Cup
1. Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe has been called the future of the French national team for so long that it's easy to look past that he's already the present. The striker won the World Cup with France at just 23 years old and playing alongside Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, there's nothing to stop him from winning another one.
The forward is superlative in every sense, playing for one of the top clubs in the world, competing in the premier competitions across Europe and the world, and making it all look easy. While he's been in recent headlines for the wrong reasons, as he's looking to move away from PSG, that doesn't stop him from performing, always in play to hit the back of the net for the Parisians.
The question for the World Cup is who will get more goals for France, as Benzema outscored Mbappe four to zero at the 2020 Euros. Mbappe is a must-watch whenever on the pitch and there's a chance for the Frenchman to produce something truly magical in Qatar.
2. Jamal Musiala
Musiala has played his way into the Bayern Munich first team this season and figures to be a mainstay in the German national team for years to come. The attacking midfielder leads Bayern Munich in both goals and assists early in the season, and at just 19 years old is one of the most electric young players in the world.
He's already set records with Germany as the youngest player to ever play for the national team in a major international competition. Lining up alongside domestic teammates such as Thomas Muller, Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane, Musiala has the chance to set more records despite his age, perhaps to become the next German World Cup-winning hero, like Mario Gotze in 2014. Musiala's talent and form make him a prime candidate to announce himself to the world stage at the 2022 World Cup.
The 2021 Golden Boy award winner Pedri is one of the most exciting players to watch after cementing himself in the Barcelona side in recent seasons. He's a dynamic playmaker and at just 20 years old will be anchoring the Spanish national team's midfield.
Pedri has become indispensable, playing every match possible for Barcelona and showing his unmatched consistency in midfield and sometimes an attacking role when needed. Spain might not be the juggernauts they were in recent World Cups, but with both tenacity and flair, Pedri could be the talisman to lead his nation back to the promised land. Alongside Barcelona teammate Gavi, Pedri is set to make the Spanish national team his own.
4. Alphonso Davies
Canada hadn't made a World Cup since 1986, but behind Davies, the national team is headed back to the biggest stage. While he plays at full-back for Bayern Munich domestically, Davies' immense talent sees him play on the wing for Canada, where he leads the attack and provides creative spark.
He's become much more than just a simple player since his Vancouver Whitecaps days but rather a Canadian hero who will carry the hopes of a nation on his back when he travels to Qatar. Davies won't shy away from the spotlight and while Canada aren't favored to advance, his ability could be enough spur an upset or two.
5. Jude Bellingham
England seem to have a new golden generation every five years and yet it never seems to live up to expectations. Still, the current generation feels a little different, headlined by 19-year-old Bellingham.
The midfielder has captained his club Borussia Dortmund and been a regular starter in the English national team all before turning 20 and it doesn't take long to figure out why. The midfielder offers everything from goalscoring and creativity to the power and technical ability to win the ball back from anyone. England finished second in the 2020 Euros and fourth at the 2018 World Cup, both times seemingly missing that last spark.
With Bellingham firmly entrenched in the squad, England could have a chance to take home the top prize for the first time since 1966.
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