It’s scary to think how good this team could be in five years time.
This outstandingly good XI only comprises players aged 21 and under, but would no doubt still be a match for virtually any club side.
Thibaut Courtois starts in goal after two brilliant seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, although he will surely return to Chelsea to take Petr Cech’s goalkeeping jersey at some point.
Phil Jones starts at right-back, after a £16m move to Manchester United in 2011. Sir Alex Ferguson said at the end of last season that he could go on to become one United’s greatest ever players. High praise indeed!
Bayern Munich’s David Alaba takes the other fullback berth, after starring in the German champion’s brilliant treble-winning side last term.
Manchester City’s Matija Nastasic gets into the side after a string of superb performances helped him displace Joleon Lescott in City’s defence, although Roma’s Marquinhos is knocking loudly on the door. Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane also starts, after displaying his immense potential with a string of composed Champions League performances last season.
Jack Wilshere and Marco Verratti offer fantastic touch, technical ability and a passing range that suits modern football. These two are sure to dominate European midfields for the next decade.
Further up the field, Neymar walks into the side, as he probably would into a regular World XI. Wonderful young attackers Isco and Mario Gotze play alongside him, just behind Romelu Lukaku, who scored 17 goals in the Premier League last season at just 19 years of age.
– This starting XI has already moved for a combined fee of £161m in their careers, which is even more remarkable when you consider Varane, Alaba, Courtois, Wilshere and Veratti have yet to move for huge money.
– Encouragingly from an English perspective, we have two representatives, as do Belgium, whereas Brazil, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Serbia all have one each.
-The side features five Premier League players, (although Courtois has been on loan in Spain for two seasons), two Bundesliga players, three La Liga players and Marco Verratti from Ligue 1.
-Bayern Munich own two of these players, as do Chelsea and Real Madrid, whereas Man United, Man City, Arsenal and PSG and Barcelona all own one each.
– No Serie A players have been selected, although Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, and AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy both have legitimate claims for inclusion following brilliant seasons.
– Other players very unlucky to miss out include £30m plus men James Rodriguez and Lucas Moura.