The Future Of Football is a series combining both FIFA 18 & real world football, highlighting the most promising under-20 players from around the footballing world; those who stand to inherit the title of the world's best once the legends of today retire. Alongside their FIFA 18 Cards, there will be a profile of their talents & honours, along with a short description of their footballing career & why many believe them to be the Future Of Football...
Kylian Mbappé, heralded as the "new Thierry Henry", became AS Monaco's youngest ever first team player in December 2015 at the tender age of 16 years 347 days, a record set by Thierry Henry 21 years previously, & later became their youngest ever scorer in Febuary 2016, breaking yet another Thierry Henry record.
Mbappé made headlines during the 2016/17 season when he formed an incredible partnership with Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, helping AS Monaco gain their 1st Ligue 1 title in 17 years, as well as helping them to the Champions League semi-final.
That summer, French rivals PSG signed the French forward on an initial loan deal, with an option to buy for €180m, continuing his already sublime career as part of a prolific trio with Neymar & Cavani.
The 2017 Golden Boy possesses electrifying pace, lightning quick dribbling skills, & finishes with supreme confidence. A truly remarkable player for someone who’s only just turned 19...
Matthijs de Ligt has been touted as one of the finest products to come from the famed Ajax academy in recent years. Confident on the ball, two-footed, & tactically adept, Matthijs made an immediate impact on his Ajax debut, scoring after 25 minutes in a cup game against Willem II.
De Ligt made headlines when he became the youngest debutant for the Dutch national side since Mark Weber in 1931, however his debut was clouded in disappointment, being substituted at half time, with the Netherlands eventually losing to Belgium 2-0 in a World Cup Qualifier.
International disappointment didn’t deter him, & he continued to make impressive performances in both league & European games, playing in the Europa League Final against Manchester United at the age of just 17.
Now an established first team regular, de Ligt has capably filled the void left by the departed Davinson Sanchez, & with a move to European giants Barcelona supposedly on the cards, a big career has laid itself out in front of Matthijs, it’s now up to him to walk the path towards greatness.
Phil Foden has all the makings of being the next big star in English football. Described by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola as “a gift”, Foden has a natural ability to dictate play with his close control & excellent passing ability & vision, despite being just 17 years old.
Naturally a no. 10, Foden helped England’s U17 side to World Cup triumph, inspiring the Young Lions to a remarkable comeback in the final against Spain, scoring 2 of the 5 goals England needed to win 5-2; winning the Golden Boy award in the process as Player Of The Tournament.
Pep Guardiola already has 1st team plans for Foden, giving him his 1st Manchester City start in the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk in October, impressing in an unfamiliar role at left-wing-back.
Although injuries towards the end put a stop to more 1st team experience, 2017 was the breakthrough year for Phil Foden’s career, culminating in being crowned the BBC Young Sports Personality Of The Year. Who knows what 2018 will bring to this talented Young Lion.
Ryan Sessegnon has been tipped by many to be England’s next big thing. Comfortable at LB or LW, Ryan has been lighting up the EFL Championship with dazzling attacking displays down the left flank, becoming the 1st Fulham player to score 10 goals in the league this season.
Ryan was part of England’s UEFA European U19 Championship winning side, finishing the tournament as joint-top scorer with 3 goals, earning him a place in the Team Of The Tournament; notably as an attacker, rather than as a defender which England submitted him as in their squad for the tournament.
Already a Fulham 1st team regular, Sessegnon marked his 50th appearance for Fulham by scoring his 1st professional hattrick in a 5-4 away win against Sheffield United on 21st November 2017, becoming the 1st 17 year old to score a hattrick in the top 4 tiers of English league football since Dele Alli in 2014.
A big money move to a Premier League club has already been touted, with Spurs & Manchester United rumoured to be interested in his signature, as well as European giants PSG & Bayern Munich.