World XI: Best under-21 players

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Football is preparing to say goodbye to some legends of the game. Players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Xavi and Carles Puyol are all entering the twilight years of their successful careers. 

Here we take a look at the eleven youngster who are set to fill the boots of the fading stars.

Goalkeeper | Marc-Andre Ter Stegen | Borussia Mönchengladbach

At only 20, the German shot stopper is already considered to be a great keeper. He has done well for Mönchengladbach this season, maintaining a starting spot despite his tender years. Standing a 6ft 3in he can spread himself well and has made some quality saves this season. He has represented the German national team from under-17's level too.

Right back | Andre Wisdom | Liverpool 

The Liverpool full back has a promising future ahead of him. He's played a few times for Liverpool this season and at only 19, we should see a lot more to come from him. One of many young talents at Liverpool, he has already been selected five times by the England under-21 side.

Centre back | Raphael Varane | Real Madrid

Varane is potentially one of the best young defenders football has seen. The French man is already considered a quality centre back having maintained a place in Real Madrid’s starting line-up this season. He will undoubtedly go on the be one of the best in the world. He was picked up from Lens by Jose Mourinho and has proved his talent in recent games.

Centre back | Kurt Zouma | Saint Etienne

The 18-year-old’s name has been thrown about for a while now, tipped to be at the top. He has played 32 times for the French side this season and I'm sure he'll play a lot more in the next few seasons to come. Has also played for the national team at youth level.

Left back | David Alaba | Bayern Munich

The Austrian is already Bayern Munich’s and Austria’s first team left back, with the ability to play left midfield too. As he is already playing at the top with the German league leaders shows he has the ability to be a top class full back.

Defensive midfield | Paul Pogba | Juventus

The French midfielder has really proved himself since Sir Alex Ferguson made the mistake of letting him go for nothing. Recently he's been playing more for Juventus and he has shown his quality.

Attacking midfield | Lucas Moura | Paris Saint Germain

The Brazilian as we all know made a switch from Sao Paolo to join French giants Paris Saint Germain for a hefty fee. He's got a great touch; he's fast and can pull tricks that fool defenders easily. He'll no doubt be one of the best in his position in a few years to come.

Attacking midfield | Mario Gotze | Borussia Dortmund

The German is already set in stone as a top class player. He's a first team player for Dortmund and the German national side. He's got great vision and a pass just to match it. He is heading for the top of world football.

Right Wing | Wilfried Zaha | Manchester United (loaned to Crystal Palace)

Despite his young age and lack of experience, Zaha has arguably been the best player in the Championship this season. His recent move to Manchester United has shown that Sir Alex Ferguson believes Zaha can become a great player. The Ivory Coast born winger opted to play for England and earned his first cap in a friendly against Sweden this season.

Left Wing | Stephan El Shaarawy | AC Milan

The Italian has been great for AC Milan this term, after the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic it gave Stephan the opportunity to step up and that he has, scoring 19 goals so far. He is known for his dribbling ability and trickery. Primarily playing as a left winger he can also play upfront and attacking midfield.

Striker | Romelu Lukaku | Chelsea (loaned to West Brom)

The Belgian star is likely to be one of the next top strikers in the Premier League. He is currently playing well for West Brom. Hotly tipped to be the next Didier Drogba and you can see why, his strength and pace combine to create a near unstoppable force. Add his powerful shot in to the equation and Chelsea should have a fantastic striker on their hands. 

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