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Top 35 soccer players under 22

By Miles DeGrazia
On October 23, 2012

9. Lucas Moura, right wing (São Paulo - Paris Saint-Germain in January / Brazil). Lucas Moura is one of the new breed of Brazilian stars which emulate the Brazilian flare we all have come to love. A wide midfielder with more than enough technical ability to operate as a #10 Lucas will become a big name in European football this winter when he completes his €45m move to Paris Saint-Germain.
8. Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior, attacking midfielder (Chelsea / Brazil) Oscar is another Brazilian player that perfectly embodies samba football. A creative midfielder who has it all; passing ability, amazing dribbling skills and a rocket of a shot. Oscar made his first Chelsea start against Italian champions Juventus in the UEFA Champions League and promptly scored both Chelsea goals and was named Man of The Match.
7. Danny Welbeck, striker (Manchester United / England) Danny Welbeck is a Manchester born and bred striker playing for his hometown club, which just so happens to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. Two loan spells at Preston, and Sunderland helped Welbeck prepare for playing for Manchester United, and despite having Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernández all playing for the team he still is an important member in Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
6. Phil Jones, center back (Manchester United / England). Phil Jones is one of only four defenders on this list and is the highest rated at number six. Jones has an amazing passing ability that has led him playing in the midfield for Manchester United.
5. Christian Eriksen, attacking midfielder (Ajax / Denmark). Christian Eriksen is an old fashion #10 playmaker. He is not blessed with much speed but he more than makes up for that with his passing ability. Much like Danish legend Michael Laudrup, Eriksen has an exceptional footballing brain that could one day see him follow in Laudrup's footsteps and play for Barcelona or Real Madrid.
4. Jack Wilshere, central midfield (Arsenal / England). Jack Wilshere is the greatest central midfield talent that England has seen since Paul Scholes began playing in the mid 1990's. Wilshere possesses a technical ability more often seen in Spain or France than England, but still plays with the typical English intensity and heart. He was named in the PFA Team of The Year in 2011 and Arsenals Player of the Season in 2011 ahead of Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri.
3. Mario Götze, attacking midfielder (Borussia Dortmund / Germany). Long gone are the days when Germany produced the most powerful and destructive players at central midfield, now technique is king and Mario Götze has it in spades. Götze is already at the creative helm of one of the finest attacking sides in Europe with Borussia Dortmund and could go on to be one of their greatest players ever. Götze is the first player to play for the German national team to be born after the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990.
2. Neymar, left wing (Santos / Brazil). Neymar is Brazil's new golden boy. Everything about him is typical Brazillian; the crazy hair that changes three times a week, the 40-yard dribbles then lob over the keeper, the crazy celebrations and the insane skill moves. Whatever you think of when you think Brazil, he is it. Playing at the great Pele's former club Santos, Neymar has already scored 49 goals in 97 appearances.
1. Eden Hazard, left wing (Chelsea / Belgium). Eden Hazard is the best player in the world under the age of 22. Hazard made a name for himself in France where he helped Lille win an unprecedented League and Cup double in 2011 along with being named Ligue 1 Player of the Year in 2011 and 2012. After torching defenders in Ligue 1 for Lille for five seasons Hazard joined Chelsea last summer for £35m where he has already scored two goals and created nine assists in just 14 matches.

Full List
35. Josh Gatt - Right wing (Molde FK / USA)
34. Romelu Lukaku - Striker (Chelsea / Belgium)
33. Nélson Oliveira - Striker (Benfica / Portugal)
32. Joel Obi - Central midfield (Inter Milan / Nigeria)
31. Fabio Borini - Striker (Liverpool / Italy)
30. Erik Lamela - Right wing (AS Roma / Argentina)
29. David Alaba - Left back (Bayern Munich / Austria)
28. Kyriakos Papadopoulos - Center back (Schalke 04 / Greece)
27. Kevin De Bruyne - Attacking midfielder (Chelsea / Belgium)
26.Gastón Ramirez - Attacking midfielder (Southampton / Uruguay)
25. Jack Rodwell - Defensive midfielder (England / Manchester City)
24. Isaac Cuenca - Right wing - (Barcelona / Spain)
23. RaphaÃl Varane - Center back - (Real Madrid / France)
22. Cristian Tello - Left wing - (Barcelona / Spain)
21. Marco Verratti - Central midfield - (Paris Saint-Germain / Italy)
20. Coutinho - Central attacking midfield - (Inter Milan / Brazil)
19. Isco - Central attacking midfielder - (Málaga / Spain)
18. Iker Muniain - Left wing - (Athletic Bilbao / Spain)
17. James Rodríguez - Left wing (FC Porto / Colombia)
16. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - Right wing - (Arsenal / England)
15. Xherdan Shaqiri - Right wing - (Bayern Munich / Switzerland)
14. Ilkay Gündogan - Central midfielder (Borussia Dortmund / Germany) 13. André Schürrle - Left wing (Borussia Dortmund / Germany)
12. Stephan El Shaarawy - Central attacking midfield (AC Milan / Italy)
11. Aaron Ramsey - Central midfielder (Arsenal / Wales)
10. Thiago - Central midfielder (Barcelona / Spain)
9. Lucas - Right wing (São Paulo - Paris Saint-Germain In January / Brazil)
8. Oscar - Central attacking midfield (Chelsea / Brazil)
7. Danny Welbeck - Striker (Manchester United / England)
6. Phil Jones - Center back (Manchester United / England)
5. Christian Eriksen - Central attacking midfield (Ajax / Denmark)
4. Jack Wilshere - Central midfield (Arsenal / England)
3. Mario Götze - Central attacking midfield (Borussia Dortmund / Germany)
2. Neymar - Left wing (Santos / Brazil)
1.Eden Hazard - Light wing (Chelsea / Belgium)
 


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