The U20 World Cup in Turkey has already begun to showcase the vast array of talent in countries throughout the world.
From Spain to El Salvador, this tournament represents the ideal place to scout for new emerging talent. Thus, that is why there are many European clubs that were present on Friday - and will continue to be over the coming weeks.
So far, European giants Spain and France have underlined their title-winning credentials by beating USA and Ghana respectively in rather convincing fashion.
However, the player that has impressed me the most so far on the opening weekend of the competition has been the little-known Australian Daniel De Silva.
De Silva was born on 6 March 1997 in Perth, Australia. He had already, coming into this competition, broken several records - becoming on 2 March 2013, the second youngest player ever to play in Australia’s A-League at the age of 15, in a home victory for his team against Sydney FC. He came on as a substitute on the 62nd minute for team-mate Matias Cordoba.
He achieved this particular feat, only a few months from signing his first professional contract, on 22 February of this year. Hitherto signing his professional contract at Perth Glory, he had been approached by Everton scout, with only a potential work permit scuppering the move.
He has since signed on at Perth and never looked back, showing a remarkable calmness on the ball, making various difficult passes seem relatively simple. However, his main attribute that has been commented on, on many occasions, has been his movement.
Blessed with the ability to almost glide past his opponents on a regular basis, many including his coach Alistair Edwards have declared his potential as “limitless”, likening him to Socceroo legend Harry Kewell.
The very fact that he was present at this prestigious tournament was an achievement in itself, with him being not only the youngest player present, aged 16 and 101 days, but the youngest player ever to have been selected at U20 level.
He played a major role in the Socceroo’s opening 1-1 draw with South American giants Colombia, scoring his side’s only goal with a cool finish following a typical back-breaking run from the heart of midfield.
He was thrown a surprise start from Australian U20 coach, Paul Okon, which could have been a potential risk, playing against one of the pre-tournament favourites in Colombia. However, De Silva, after that performance certainly merits his place, in the heart of the young Socceroo’s midfield.
After the game had finished, he continued his class performance, with another, this time in front of many Journalists, praising his teammate’s efforts. He showed incredible maturity, for one so young. He, for sure, has the world at his feet and I and many others will enjoy seeing him again, as his team aim for qualification out of Group C, which also contain hosts Turkey and El Salvador.
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