Who are the best footballers in the world at each age between 17-35?
Spanish newspaper Marca have asked their readers this very question, offering them a choice of four players for every category, and they’ve responded by voting in their thousands.
While the poll is still open for football fans to cast their votes, there’s already a clear winner for most of the categories.
It’s probably worth noting, for those unaware, that Marca are a pro-Real Madrid newspaper.
But the leader of the first category is a Barcelona player, so it’s safe to assume that Marca’s readers have voted with their honest opinions.
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17 years - Ansu Fati
Barcelona’s youngest La Liga goalscorer and the youngest player to score a goal in the Champions League, Ansu Fati has received 71 % of the votes from Marca readers.
The talented winger has seen off competition in this category from Brazilian midfielder Reinier, Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga and FC Porto forward Fabio Silva.
18 years - Takefusa Kubo
Nicknamed the ‘Japanese Messi’, Takefusa Kubo was on the books of Barcelona as a youngster but opted to join Real Madrid last summer.
The technically-gifted teenager made a big impression in pre-season and is currently learning his trade on loan at Real Mallorca.
Kubo has polled more votes than Valencia’s Kang-in Lee, Arsenal’s William Saliba (who is on loan at Saint-Etienne) and Watford forward Joao Pedro.
19 years - Jadon Sancho
Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr, Ferran Torres and Erling Haaland are also in this competitive category, but Jadon Sancho has received over half of the votes at the time of writing.
The England international has been a superstar at Borussia Dortmund over the past 18 months, but could be heading to the Premier League later this year.
20 years - Matthijs De Ligt
Matthijs De Ligt was sensational for Ajax last season and earned a move to Juventus, who fended off competition from a host of top European clubs to land the Dutch defender’s signature.
The 20-year-old has received more votes than Joao Felix, Kai Havertz and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
21 years - Kylian Mbappe
No surprise, this one.
PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe has received a whopping 89% of the votes for the 21-year-old category, despite finding himself in direct competition with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fede Valverde and Martin Odegaard.
22 years - Frenkie De Jong
Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong has the potential to become the best central midfielder in the world.
He’s received 55% of the votes in the 22-year-old category - significantly more than Lautaro Martinez (22%), Marcus Rashford (19%) and Ousmane Dembele (4%).
23 years - Dele Alli
Now, this category is a lot closer.
Tottenham’s Dele Alli is in the lead with 31% but he’s followed by Napoli’s Spanish midfielder Fabio Ruiz (28%), Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio (25%) and RB Leipzig’s German striker Timo Werner (16%).
24 years - Joshua Kimmich
The 24-year-old category is even tighter than the previous one.
Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich and Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez are on 39% and 38%, respectively.
Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe and Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, meanwhile, have received 12% and 11% of the votes.
25 years - Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has received 58% of the votes in this category - and that’s no real shock, is it?
Manchester City’s prolific attacking winger is seen by football fans as the best 25-year-old in world football, ahead of teammate Bernardo Silva (19%), Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
26 years - Jan Oblak*
A very competitive category, this one.
Jan Oblak is regarded by many football fans as the world’s best goalkeeper right now and the Atletico shot-stopper is in the lead with 45% of the votes, ahead of Tottenham striker Harry Kane (29%), Raphael Varane (18%) and Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba (8%).
*However, Oblak actually turned 27 earlier this month, so Kane is within his rights to claim this as his victory!
27 years - Neymar
Wow - Neymar, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah or Marc-Andre ter Stegen? This is a tough one.
Neymar leads with 41% of the votes, with Liverpool duo Mane (24%) and Salah (18%) in second and third place, respectively. Ter Stegen, who has been magnificent for Barcelona over the past couple of seasons, has received 17% of the votes.
28 years - Virgil van Dijk
Another fiercely competitive category, Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (34%) is marginally ahead of Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard (32%).
Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne is third with 23% of the votes, while Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann is fourth on 11%.
29 years - Toni Kroos
This is Marca, so we probably shouldn’t be shocked that their readers have given Toni Kroos 77% of the votes in the 29-year-old category.
The German is way out in front ahead of Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic (11%), David de Gea (7%) and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson (5%).
30 years - Jordi Alba
Gareth Bale hasn’t been in Real Madrid fans’ good books for a while now, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that the Welshman is last in this category with 16% of the votes.
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba leads with the way on 33%, just in front of Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on 32%. Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, meanwhile, has received 19% of the votes.
31 years - Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski or Sergio Aguero? It’s Bayern Munich’s prolific striker who leads the way in this category with more than half of the votes.
Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets has 17%, while PSG’s Angel Di Maria has just 5%.
32 years - Lionel Messi
The only surprise here is that Lionel Messi doesn’t have 100% of the votes.
The Barcelona legend is received 89% of votes from Marca readers, which leaves him miles ahead of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (9%) and Barcelona duo Gerard Pique (1%) and Luis Suarez (1%) - and rightly so.
33 years - Sergio Ramos
There was only ever going to be one winner in this category: Sergio Ramos.
The Real Madrid icon has 66% of the votes, which puts him a long way ahead of Man City’s David Silva (17%), Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (9%) and Inter Milan defender Diego Godin (8%).
34 years - Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo only has 67% of the votes in the 34-year-old category, which is unexpected.
Real Madrid’s Luka Modric has 21%, Sevilla’s Jesus Navas has 7% while Derby County’s Wayne Rooney(!) has 5%.
35 years - Andres Iniesta
And last but not least, we have the 35-year-olds’ category.
Andres Iniesta has received over half the votes here, putting him above Santi Cazorla, Giorgio Chiellini and Thiago Silva.News Now - Sport News