The World Cup is traditionally a breakthrough event for many young players. With kick-off time getting closer and closer, The Cult of Calcio’s next trip is across the Top 10 most talented young players to keep an eye for in Russia – in order of their expected appearance in the competition…
When you are about to play a World Cup with Uruguay wearing a number 10 jersey, you cannot be an average player. Giorgian De Arrascaeta is all but that. The Cruzeiro midfielder just turned 24 on June 1, and is ready to support Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez in Russia. Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez, who will lead the Celeste in a World Cup for the fourth time, designed a 4-3-1-2 lineup that seemed perfectly fit for De Arrascaeta’s technical skills.Coach Oscar Washington Tabarez, who will lead the Celeste in a World Cup for the fourth time, designed a 4-3-1-2 lineup that seems perfectly fit for De Arrascaeta’s technical skills.
Raised in his native Uruguay with Defensor Sporting, Giorgian joined Brazilian side Cruzeiro in 2015. During the 2013 Under 20 World Cup in Turkey, he seemed one of the most interesting football talent on a global level. But then something must have gone wrong, as his progress slowed down. Still, coach Tabarez has always believed in him, as he has continued to call him to play for the National side in the last three years.
In 2015, he played with Uruguay in the Copa America, but the Russian competition will be his first senior global tournament, and will give him a chance to show what he can do, perhaps convincing some European club to bet on him.
172 cms tall and weighing 67 kg, De Arrascaeta is an agile player – maybe a little too much for the modern football arena, where even the most creative players are supposed to be a little stronger and bulkier. Free kicks are one of his added values, his right foot capable of posing some serious threat to any goalkeeper.
The Celeste will rely on him, among others, to try to do better than in World Cup 2014, where Uruguay’s run ended in the Round of 16 against Colombia. Four years ago, De Arrascaeta was not part of the team, but Russia will likely be the right stage for him to reclaim his spot among international football stars.
Uruguay has not been winning a world title since 1950. An extremely long drought, that could end this year in Russia: With Cavani and Suarez as striking force, and De Arrascaeta ready to support them from behind, the Celeste have some good reasons to dream.
Because when you wear the jersey that once belonged to Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Enzo Francescoli, you cannot be an average player. You most definitely cannot.
Translated by Matteo Carnevale
Click here to discover more young players to keep an eye for in Russia:
Aleksandr Golovin, the Young Tsar Who Makes Russia Hope