Europe's next international captains

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Being a captain isn't just about being the most talented, it is also crucial that the player possesses outstanding leadership qualities if he is to lead his nation.

Here is a selection of youngsters who could wear their nation's armband in major tournaments for years to come.

Kevin Strootman - Holland

Having led a promising young Dutch side to what was eventually a disappointing semi-final defeat at this summer's U-21 Euros, Strootman has shown key captain's qualities with his nation's trusted armband around his arm.

At the tender age of 22 he possesses the maturity of a player well above his years and has a calming effect on his teammates through his controlled passing and laid back playing style.

Furthermore, he is rumoured to be close to signing for English champions Manchester United this summer, a step up in qualify which he must take if he is to reach the level he is seemingly destined to reach.

Jack Wilshere - England

Despite having suffered severe injury set-backs during his short career that have halted the young Englishmans progression so far, it is clear to all that Wilshere has all it takes to become a future England and Arsenal captain in the not too distant future.

The Arsenal man has natural leadership skills mainly due to his passion and bite as well as skill and precocious talent.

His outstanding virtuoso performance during England's 2-1 friendly win over Brazil at Wembley was simply out of the top drawer and one that was a delight to watch from an English point of view.

This was a taster of Wilshere's potential that could see him become an England great.

Lewis Holtby - Germany

Like Strootman, Holtby captained his nation at this summer's U-21 Euros, although without the same success as his Dutch counterpart as the Germans suffered a disappointing group-stage exit.

Although having been drawn in the group of death, Germany's exit was far from a disaster. 

With the most promising performance of the Championships being captain Holtby's magnificent displays where he showed heart and tried his upmost to help his country through. 

His brave solo performance versus the Dutch being his stand-out highlight.

Raphael Varane - France

Having broken into the Real Madrid first-team this season, I don't believe even Varane himself would have believed just how well he would prove to fair in the defence of the world's largest clubs.

Having put in a masterful display against the likes of PSG and Manchester United, the young Frenchman is now one of the hottest young properties in world football and has been tipped by many for great things.

Furthermore, he has also broken into the French national side and with Les Bleus going through a transitional period, Varane could be the man to lead the new French revelation as they aim to get back to the dominance of former teams on the world stage. 

He certainly has the composure and leadership to captain the team successfully for many a year!


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