This guy might win the Champions League this year...

Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2020 according to GOAL

It’s the time of year when GOAL releases its NXGN list of 50 wonderkids they expect to dominate the future of football.

We’ve been going through the archives to analyse their top ten picks from the past few years and, today, we’re taking a look at the ten best-rated players on their 2020 list.

There are always hits and misses in these lists — that’s just the nature of the beast. We reckon this one might be their most accurate yet, actually, with one or two glaring errors thrown in for good measure. Where are the shining starlets of 2020 now, though? Let’s see.

10. Ryan Gravenberch

Back in 2020, Ronald Koeman thought Gravenberch was a brighter prospect than Matthijs de Light. Ajax had just sold de Light and Frenkie de Jong for hella cash, and Gravenberch was the next massive prospect off the production line.

The lanky midfielder earned a move to Bayern Munich in 2022, but after one season, the Bavarians sold Gravenberch to Liverpool for roughly twice what they paid for him.

The Dutchman’s first season on Merseyside has been steady away without being earth-shattering.

Gravenberch is still only 21 and has plenty of time to reach his full potential if he can become a regular starter for The Reds.

9. Takefusa Kubo

If you love football, you love Takefusa Kubo. He has an awful lot in common with Kaoru Mitoma, and their shared nationality is the least of it.

Kubo is so much fun. His dribbling is exceptional, he’s a bag of tricks, his close control is very, very silly, and he can take opposition defenders out of the game at will.

With Mitoma on the left and Kubo on the right, we actually can’t wait to see Japan at the next World Cup (if they get there).

As a youngster, Kubo actually spent four years at La Masia in Barcelona, before the Catalan club got done for illegal transfers… Kubo had to go back to Japan and didn’t return to Europe for four years, when Real Madrid signed him, then sent him out on multiple loans without handing him a debut.

Kubo is at Real Sociedad now, and he is mint.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2016 according to GOAL

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 20 youngest Premier League appearance makers since 2000?

8. Mohamed Ihattaren

Now, just to break the fourth wall for a second — I was doing a job in Eindhoven back in 2019, where I was chatting to a PSV coach about Ronaldo (O Fenomeno), and the coach took me and my colleagues aside to have us watch the brightest gem in their youth setup.

That gem was a teenage Ihattaren, and the PSV coach was convinced he was going to be one of the best footballers on the planet. And I believed him.

Two years later, after having broken into PSV’s first team within weeks of that conversation at the training ground, the Dutchman signed with Juventus.

Since then, Ihattaren has been steeped in controversy. Mafia involvement and criminal charges have blighted his career, and an exceptional talent has just had his contract terminated by Slavia Prague after not even making their B team.

7. Lee Kang-in

Lee came to the public’s attention at the age of six back in South Korea, when he took part in a football-based reality TV show. Four years later, at just 10-years-old, Lee moved to Spain to join Valencia’s youth academy.

The midfielder’s star has risen and risen, and after breaking into Valencia’s first team and two strong seasons with Mallorca, Lee is now turning out in the Champions League for PSG, keeping some extremely talented players out of the team.

6. Gabriel Martinelli

Ronaldinho compared Martinelli to Brazilian Ronaldo when he was a teenager. Jurgen Klopp said Martinelli is a talent of the century. Those comparisons might be slightly exaggerated, but they’re not far off.

The Brazilian winger is a regular starter for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal these days, and he’s been a hugely important part of The Gunners’ title charge. Sky’s the limit for Martinelli.

Gabriel Martinelli celebrates against Crystal Palace.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every Brazilian to play for Arsenal in the Premier League?

5. Eduardo Camavinga

Somebody sound the baller alert we’ve got ourselves a big one. Camavinga was running midfields full of superstars twice his age in 2020, making Ligue 1 look like a daft laugh down the local park.

In 2024, the French phenomenon is a crucial component of Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid Monstars. Whether playing in his favoured central midfield role or filling in at left-back, Camavinga is crushing it, and we don’t see that stopping anytime soon.

4. Reinier

In 2020, Reinier was drawing comparisons to his compatriot Kaka. He only played 15 competitive senior games for Flamengo before moving to La Liga to join Real Madrid.

Since then, the Brazilian has been on loan at Dortmund, Girona, and, currently, Frosinone, on a whistle-stop tour of Europe’s top leagues, but us yet to make a senior appearance for Los Blancos.

To be fair, they’ve got another talented youngster in their number 10 / false nine role right now…

3. Mason Greenwood

Greenwood had the world at his feet. Not so much, anymore. He’s on loan at Getafe, and his future is uncertain for well-publicised reasons.

2. Ansu Fati

When Lionel Messi vacated his legendary number 10 shirt at Barcelona, fans wondered if the shirt would be retired or, if not, who would be brave enough to step into the great man’s universe-sized shoes. Ansu Fati didn’t think twice.

Fati generated so much excitement with his insane performances when he broke into the first team. Injuries stalled the young Spaniard’s development, and after finally getting another full season under his belt last season, made a loan move to Brighton to see if he could get back to his best.

He hasn’t been ever-present for The Seagulls after more injuries disrupted his season, but has performed well when he has played. Brighton have an option to buy Fati. Let see if he fulfils that early potential.

This guy became the youngest scorer in Champions League history in 2019.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 20 youngest goalscorers in Champions League history?

1. Rodrygo

When this list was drawn up four years ago, Rodrygo was just starting out at the Bernabeu, but he was making a crazy impact, not least of all scoring a perfect hat-trick on his Champions League debut.

The Brazilian hasn’t looked back. He’s locked-in on the right side of Carlo Ancelotti’s trident of terror. His numbers and output are improving every season, but you don’t need numbers to see the forward’s progression.

The best is yet to come for the 23-year-old, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.