We might just have found a new rivalry...

7 generational talents who bossed the international break: Endrick, Yamal, Mainoo…

The international break has come to an end and while most of the time we breathe a sigh of relief, this break has been brilliant for watching young ballers take their chances.

Nations such as England, Brazil, Spain, Argentina and more have all given chances to some of their youngest, but brightest talents through the break and it paid dividends, with the game’s hottest young stars shining on the international stage and taking strides forward.

Before we get lost in the throws of club football once again, we want to highlight the seven young ballers who unlocked new levels during the international break.


It’d be insane to start anywhere else. Coming off the bench for his senior Brazil debut at 17, one of the most highly-anticipated young talents in sport right now shouldered the pressure of a nation and fired in the winner for the Selecao in front of a packed out Wembley.

That wasn’t enough for Endrick, though, who again came off the bench to sparkle and score again against Spain, this time at the Santiago Bernabeu – the stadium he’ll be calling home from this summer onwards.

If there were any doubts about the teenager’s potential and ability to deliver on it, he’s just quashed them over the last week or so.

Lamine Yamal

Sharing the pitch with Endrick at the Bernabeu was 16-year-old Yamal, who makes us feel genuinely light-headed whenever we think about what he’s doing in professional football for too long.

He didn’t get on the scoresheet in either of their two games throughout the break, but again played out of his skin and continues to punch well above his weight. He’s not even old enough to drive and he’s got full international honours for Spain. That is outrageous.

Yamal received a standing ovation as he left the field at the Bernabeu against Brazil. Those do not come lightly. We’re about to get a rivalry for the ages between him and Endrick.

Kobbie Mainoo

You can’t escape the Mainoo chatter right now and for good reason. What on earth is this kid having for breakfast and can we have double the amount of it?

Manchester United academy graduates always land with plenty of hype  – often too much – but Mainoo has already proven he’s worth all the talk over and over again.

After standout performances at club level, he earned a call-up to England’s under-21s, before being fast tracked into the senior squad – thus completely skipping an age group – and making his debut in textbook Mainoo fashion off the bench against Brazil – ice cold.

England finally have a genuinely press-resistant, technical beast who can play anywhere in their midfield, who wouldn’t look out of place in a Spanish tiki-taka configuration.

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Jude Bellingham

Mainoo’s emergence and the fact that Bellingham has shouldered tons of responsibility for club and country already makes it incredibly easy to forget that he’s only 20 years old himself.

It feels like Bellingham has been around for a lifetime. And while he has sort of been, having debuted at 16, he strolls around the pitch taking on defenders, scoring clutch goals and silencing critics like a veteran. It’s frightening.

Future captain. Actually, f*ck that – give him the armband now.

Oscar Bobb

Manchester City have very quietly spawned in yet another absolute gem and nobody has really taken notice. He also has one of the best names in football.

Bobb is only 20 but already has six caps for Norway – and the full attention of Pep Guardiola. Manchester City midfielder Oscar Bobb (52) during the Newcastle United FC v Manchester City FC Carabao Cup

READ: Man City have created a monster with laser accurate passes & Pep Guardiola is in love


Conor Bradley

After enjoying a breakthrough season at Liverpool, achieving the impossible by making Trent Alexander-Arnold’s absence feel irrelevant, Bradley scored his first international goal for Northern Ireland during their 1-0 win over Scotland.

Upon becoming the first Liverpool player to score for Northern Ireland in 110 years, the youngster told BBC Sport: “I’m absolutely buzzing.

“I don’t think I could even dream it would go the way it did. To get a 1-0 win, it’s fantastic, a great night all round.

“I was just hoping it would go in and I was buzzing when I’ve seen it go in the top corner. I don’t even know what happened after that.”

Nico Williams

Whisper it quietly, but we might just be creeping towards another Spanish golden generation. And Williams can be one of the crown jewels in that.

The 21-year-old doesn’t quite receive the same spotlight as Spain’s flashier names because he’s not doing the business at Barcelona or Real Madrid, but we just think that makes him even cooler.

Williams has been tearing it up on the flank for Athletic Club and is now forming an alliance with Yamal at international level that might just bring world peace.

Alright, we’re exaggerating a bit, but he’s that talented. Blessed with ridiculous close control, a long stride and the ability to make it look like he has magnets in his boots, Williams also knows where the goal is. Expect big clubs to be queuing up for him in the summer.