Written by Andy
There are so many exciting sports for us all to enjoy these days and the one constant in a lot of these sports is some of the quality players seem to be getting younger and younger playing with quality way beyond their years.
On this piece I will be discussing young sportsman who I believe will not only be household names in 5-10 years but close to hall of fame superstars in their respective sports, Some you might have heard of already some you might not have but lets get started.
Matteo Manassero, Aged 20, Golf
I’m currently enjoying the BMW Championship as I write this blog and I can’t help but notice the amazing quality of Italian golfer sensation Matteo Manassero. It actually feels like this kid has been around for many years and plays the game of golf like a 40 year old which is the age a lot of golfers seem to be at their best. I remember him playing alongside Tom Watson and Sergio Garcia in The Open in 2009 when at just 16 year old made the cut and won the silver medal for being the leading amateur player. The season after he then became the youngest player to make the cut at The Masters, a record that was still valid until the recent Masters tournament where another young superstar in the making Guan Tianlang at 14 years of age broke the record. To date Manassero now has 4 European Tour wins thanks to the playoff win at the BMW Championship at Wentworth and has finished within the Top 50 at all the Major Golf tournaments to date including a Tied for 13th at The Open in 2009. Star in the making in the world of golf.
Russell Wilson, Aged 24, Seattle Seahawks QuarterBack, American Football
Ok so some might think there is a little bias here given the fact I’m a fan of the Seattle Seahawks but I can assure you there is no such bias as Russell Wilson is easily one of the best QB’s in the NFL today and he has only played one season. That’s not just my view but many others view as Wilson was recently voted as a Top 10 QB in the NFL recently. At just 24 I hope we have Wilson at the trigger for years to come and I’m looking forward to seeing how he improves in the new season which begins on September 8th. Wilson was a player always projected for great things but due to his height at 5’11 many big teams didn’t want to take the chance as most QB’s deemed successful are 6’3 and above. Due to this Wilson dropped way into the 3rd round (75th overall) pick in the NFL Draft before the Seahawks picked him up and he signed a 4 year contract. Big mistake by a lot of the teams as Wilson finished 4th in the NFL passer rating, threw 26 touchdowns tying Peyton Manning’s record for a rookie, threw for 3,118 yards and ran for 489 yards which is rare for QB’s as not many of them run with the ball. Wilson earned a spot on the Pro Bowl team (the best players in the AFC & NFC) along with a number of awards and leading The Seahawks to a playoff win on the road for the first time in 30 years and became the first rookie in NFL history to lead his team to an undefeated home record in an amazing first season. Great things expected of Wilson this season and a superstar in the making no doubt.
Neymar, Aged 21, Soon to be Barcelona Forward, Football
Well it’s official…well nearly. Neymar will sign for Barcelona from Santos tomorrow on a 5 year deal completing a move that has been linked for some time. At only 21 Neymar is another one of these sportsman you think have been around for years and years but I guess thats what happens when you make your debut at 17 years old. Neymar has been a Santos player his whole career and we have been treated to numerous videos of amazing skill, wonderful goals and impressive assists for Santos and Brazil where he already has won 32 caps scoring 20 goals. Neymar can play on the wing, attacking midfielder or through the middle so it will be interesting to see how the player adapts to Barca’s system and how much he will progress. Neymar is destined for greatness though and his move to Barcelona is the perfect timing as players of this quality have to be challenged on the European stage after playing 224 times for Santos and scoring 136 goals. So next season Barcelona will have Messi and Neymar an absolutely frightening proposition for any defence and many football fans I’m sure will be looking forward to seeing how they link up. Neymar superstar in the making playing for Brazil and Barcelona.
Adrien Broner, Aged 23, (130 lb – 145 lb) Boxer
Broner is a very impressive boxer and to date has a record of 26-0 with 22 knockouts, He is starting to get the big names to add to his CV and it won’t be long until this guy is in the elite list of boxers if he continues his impressive start. Still only 23, Broner has already become a two time World Champion after being the former WBO Super Featherweight Champion and being the current WBC Lightweight Champion. Broner is also currently rated at Number 6 in The Ring magazine’s pound for pound best. Broner is also a bit of a showman as well, on numerous occassions you will see him with a microphone on his head and rapping his theme tune on the way to the ring. Next up for Broner is the experienced Paulie Malignaggi which is seen as a strange move by some as its two weight classes above Broner’s current weight class. I know Coatbridge’s Ricky Burns may be one of the people who think Broner’s decision was strange given the fact a fight between the two has been talked about for a while now. Will Broner stay at 145 pounds or will he come back down to the lightweight division? Only time will tell on that one but you can’t fault the class and quality of a boxer who for me is on the road to superstardom.
Michael van Gerwen, Aged 24, Darts
Mighty Michael van Gerwen has had an amazing 12 months in the world of darts, MVG made his debut in the PDC in 2007 after he had a very successful two year apprenticeship in the BDO, winning the World Masters in 2006. We saw flashes of brilliance in his opening years in the PDC when MVG beat all the big names at various stages but he struggled on TV for some time. But that all changed in 2012 when MVG won an incredible 7 tournaments one of which being a Major in the World Grand Prix where he beat Mervyn King in the final, he also got a runners-up spot in the Grand Slam where he lost an enthralling match 16-14 to fellow countryman Raymond van Barneveld. In 2013 its kicked on in the same manner for MVG with 5 tournament wins to date which include the coveted Premier League Title . We also saw him come so close to winning his first World Championship as he blitzed every opponent in his path until losing to Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the final after an excellent start to the match. This lad is an amazing talent and can be a force in darts for 20 years to come if his impressive form continues. Holland has another darting superstar in the making.