World XI: Under-25s

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Let's take a look at the young footballers who are set to take the 'beautiful game' by storm in the next few years.

Here is a 4-2-3-1 formation with the hottest young European prospects filling each position. This would be a deadly XI and also a world-class bench to supplement.

GK: David de Gea

Although the young Spaniard took time to settle in Manchester after arriving from Atletico Madrid for £17.8m, he has gradually become one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.

After making the Barclays Premier League team of the season, he has attracted interest from Barcelona, but looks set to sign a new contract at Old Trafford.

Manchester United must do everything within their power to keep David de Gea at Old Trafford, as has shown all the signs of being the next Iker Casillas for the Spanish national team. A truly fantastic goalkeeper in the making.

RB: Mattia De Sciglio

This young Italian right-back is certainly not the most well-known young right back on the planet, but he has been very impressive for AC Milan.

The 20 year-old has been attracting interest from some of the biggest football clubs in Europe, but AC Milan will certainly be doing everything they can to keep hold of him.

Having made 56 career appearances for club and country already, De Sciglio certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

CB: Mats Hummels

Including this German international on this list was a no-brainer; he has been Borussia Dortmund's most important defender for a few seasons now and has been attracting major interest from some of Europe's heavyweights.

This ball-playing defender is a wall at the back and a creative force going forward for BVB – very few can deny that Hummels is one of the best defenders in the World.

Franz Beckenbauer must be proud to see Germany producing such an extraordinary footballer. 

CB: Raphaël Varane

The Real Madrid youngster really solidified himself as a key player for Real Madrid after a fantastic performance against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.

Since then, Varane has been a key figure in the Santiago Bernabeu starting XI and has made himself a firm fans’ favourite by scoring in two Clásicos, as well as keeping Messi at bay not once, but twice – very few defenders can say that!

His pace (especially for a large defender), strength and perfectly timed tackles have seen Raphaël Varane quickly considered to be one of the most complete centre-backs in world football.

LB: David Alaba

Widely considered as one of the best left-backs on the planet, David Alaba is one of the first names on every Bayern München team sheet.

With world-class performances for Jupp Heynecks' treble-winning Bayern side, Alaba has cemented himself as an irreplaceable player for the German and European Champions. An easy selection for this list.

His ability to play in the midfield for Austria also shows his amazing versatility. He can place penalties perfectly, hit shots from distance and he loves to take defenders on. David Alaba is simply world-class.

CM: Mesut Özil

Although central-midfield isn't Özil's favourite position, he can certainly fill in that roll.

His intricate passing and fantastic ball control have made him one of the best midfielders on the planet. With 35 assists in 59 appearances for club and country last season, Mesut Özil has cemented himself as a key player for Real Madrid and the German national team.

Özil has contributed greatly towards Cristiano Ronaldo's great goal-scoring record for Real Madrid, as well as bagging a few goals for himself.

His dribbling abilities have created many chances for himself and his teammates. Would Madrid be close to as deadly without this man? Unlikely.

CM: Sergio Busquets

Apart from Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets may very well have been Barcelona's most consistent player last season.

He is one of the first names on Barcelona's team-sheet week in, week out and a regular Spanish international.

Ever since Pep Guardiola gave him a real opportunity in Barcelona's first-team, Busquets has been an essential part of the Barcelona machine.

Many people questioned Pep's tactics when he regularly opted to start Busquets over Yaya Touré; now it seems as though Pep was absolutely correct when making this decision. Sergio Busquets is absolutely one of the best midfielders in Spain, and possibly, on the planet.

RAM: Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale was one of, if not the, easiest inclusion in this list; his 21 league goals and all-round unforgettable performances for Tottenham Hotspur last season helped the Welsh Wizard win all four major individual English Premier League awards.

His performances were deemed better than the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Michael Carrick, Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie.

Gareth Bale has been the subject of major interest from Real Madrid, with reports suggesting he would love to move to the nine-time European champions.

Spurs have insisted he is not for sale but, regardless of where this young man plays his football next season, he will surely continue to perform admirably and raise his market value.

CAM: Thomas Müller

Thomas Müller had been one of Bayern München's most consistent players for a few a seasons now, and last season was no exception.

It certainly wasn't easy for him to keep a starting XI place week in week out, but he managed to make 47 appearances, and always impressed with fantastic performances.

With 76 goals in 197 starts for Bayern, Müller has been one of world football's hardest working and most versatile players. His goals, assists and movement on and off the ball have helped him create vast amounts of chances for himself and his teammates. Many believe he is underrated and isn't credited enough, but this list certainly acknowledges his talent.

LAM: Marco Reus

With 27 goals and 14 assists last season for club and country, Marco Reus was one of the most outstanding footballers in Europe.

He was fundamental for Borussia Dortmund during their fantastic European campaign and put in exceptional performances in the Bundesliga as well.

Playing alongside Mario Götze, Ilkay Gundogan and Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus became even better as the season progressed.

For the German national team, he created lethal combinations with the likes of Thomas Müller, Mario Götze and Toni Kroos. He was certainly was one of the most deserved inclusions on this list.

CF: Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski was just young enough to make this list, but he is eligible, making him an easy selection. Few can deny the impact he has had at Borussia Dortmund since signing.

Last season, Lewandowski managed to score 36 goals in 49 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, including 4 memorable goals against Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash.

10 Champions League goals in all and 24 Bundesliga goals for Borussia Dortmund last season unsurprisingly resulted in interest from other clubs, especially Bayern München, and it is likely to increase.

His market value has skyrocketed over the past three years, but he looks likely to join Bayern München on a free transfer next season.

But I assure you, the fact that he is set to leave on a free transfer is no indication of how impactful he has been for Borussia Dortmund; passing, ball control, off the ball movement, speed, strength, stamina, technique and deadly finishing have made Robert Lewandowski the complete forward.

Bench: Thibaut Courtois, Javi Martínez, Jordi Alba, Thiago Alcântara, Isco, Toni Kroos, Mario Balotelli


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Bayern Munich
Tottenham Hotspur
Real Madrid
Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan
Manchester United

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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