WORLD CUP : PLAYER TO WATCH
Juan Pablo Sorin (Argentina)
There are few players able to boast of captaining a FIFA World Youth Championship-winning side and signing for a giant of European football by the age of 19. Juan Pablo Sorin has done all that and more during a fruitful and, at times, frenetic football career. Having come through the youth ranks of Argentinos Juniors, the club that produced Diego Maradona and Juan Roman Riquelme, this tireless attacking left-back has become one of the national team’s key figures in recent years and currently wears the captain’s armband. His first appearance on the world stage came at the FIFA World Youth Championship Qatar 1995.
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Sneijder is a naturally two-footed midfielder who can create goals and also has a nose for scoring them. The product of the much-praised Ajax youth system had a huge impact on ‘Oranje’ when winning his third cap. In the second leg of the play-offs for UEFA Euro 2004, he led the Netherlands to a 6-0 win over Scotland with a goal and three assists. Sneijder made his debut when he was 18 years and 325 days old; two weeks older than Marco van Basten when he won his first cap.