World Cup 2014: Shortlist For Hyundai Young Player Award

11 Jul

Awesome! The Baby has been shortlisted for the Hyundai Young Player Award. His co-nominees are France teammate Paul Pogba and Memphis Depay of the Netherlands.

Here’s bios on each from

Memphis Depay (NED): Fresh from an excellent season with PSV Eindhoven, Memphis Depay has confirmed his growing reputation at Brazil 2014. After coming off the bench during the Netherlands’ second match with Australia, the Moordrecht native made a crucial impact, netting a goal and setting up another; in doing so, he became the most youthful Dutch goalscorer in World Cup history. He then got on the scoresheet once more as the Oranje defeated Chile in their third and final group game. Pacey, unselfish and clinical in front of goal, Depay was again used as an impact substitute versus Mexico, before becoming the youngest Dutchman to begin a World Cup encounter since 1938 against Costa Rica in the quarter-finals, completing his journey from rising star to established starter in the process.

Paul Pogba (FRA): Although he is still only 21 years of age, Paul Pogba is already one of France’s key players. The Juventus star gained his first taste of international success last year at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, where his skills and subtlety of touch helped Les Bleuets to emerge victorious from the competition and enabled him to earn the adidas Golden Ball award. In Brazil, the energetic midfielder showed the full array of his talents, including an opening goal in Les Bleus’ Round-of-16 clash with Nigeria. Having firmly established himself in the side, Pogba is likely to be one of the first names on France’s teamsheet for many years to come.

Raphael Varane (FRA): Absent from the 2013 U-20 World Cup due to injury, Raphael Varane nevertheless enjoyed a successful club season in Spain and on the continental stage. The Real Madrid player confirmed his wunderkind status at Brazil 2014, where he performed admirably at centre-back in a French defence that conceded just three goals in the tournament. Composed on the ball, quick and aggressive in the challenge, and accurate when passing from the back, the imposing 21-year-old is the epitome of the modern defender. While many fans in Europe were already aware of Varane’s potential, the World Cup has provided a platform for him to prove it to the entire planet.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for The Baby.

– Lozil

4 Responses to “World Cup 2014: Shortlist For Hyundai Young Player Award”

  1. mygypsyspirit July 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Go Varane!

    • mygypsyspirit July 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

      Also… I love when defenders get recognized. Recognition so easily goes to midfielders and forwards that sometimes it’s lost that defenders can make such a huge impact.

  2. hopechaser July 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Nice to see French players getting some recognition. These two did play really well.

  3. jellyace July 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    Go, Baby, go!!!

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