In Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final second leg between Borussia Dortmund and Malaga in Germany, two of world football’s wonderkids go head to head.
With Mario Götze and Isco, Dortmund and Malaga both possess gifted youngsters who can help fire them into the semi-finals.
So, the difference in tonight’s outcome could well depend on these two players. Both players have the ability to make the difference, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
In the first leg, Götze squandered a few chances but it was his quality that put him in these positions and, if given the same opportunities at the Signal Iduna Park tonight, then he could punish Malaga.
Looking at Isco, and his goalscoring threat from midfield could provide Malaga with a crucial away goal. He has earned rave reviews with his performances for Malaga this season and has been instrumental in guiding them to tonight’s quarter final tie – contributing three goals from seven appearances.
The 20-year-old is, without doubt, one of the hottest prospects in the world right now and has made his debut for the Spanish national side in February. Barcelona are reportedly looking to him as a potential successor to Xavi, while Arsenal are also interested.
After recently signing a new contract, a minimum fee release clause was set at €35m. If he continues to impress then it’s only a matter of time before Isco, the current holder of the Golden Boy award, finds a club ready to activate it.
However, Götze has also won the Golden Boy award - in 2011 - after being voted the best under-21 player in Europe, and has already proved an invaluable player to Borussia Dortmund.
Already capped 22 times by Germany, the technically gifted 20-year-old has the creativity and speed to become a genuine world-class player.
Used as a playmaker, he also has an eye for goal and, at 19, became Germany’s joint youngest goalscorer of the post-war era. Arsene Wenger is an admirer, and it’s reported that he’s finally ready to splash the cash in a £30m deal.
Götze’s destined for greatness and if he does eventually decide to leave Dortmund, then expect other clubs of the calibre of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United to be competing with Arsenal for his signature.
Whatever the outcome of tonight’s match, expect these two players to become household names over the next few seasons – but which clubs will they be at?
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