Agustin Ruberto (R) of Argentina competes with Maksymilian Sznaucner of Poland during the group D match of the FIFA World Cup U17 in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 17, 2023.

Argentina’s newest crown jewel is creating a golden generation & ripping apart the U17 World Cup

Argentina have been living in dreamland following their 2022 World Cup win as Lionel Messi finished the story, but bubbling away in the background has been the leader of the next generation – and he’s already writing his own chapters.

Lifting the trophy in Qatar was only the third time in the history of Argentinian football that the nation have been crowned world champions, ending a drought that stretched back to 1986 when Diego Maradona famously lifted the trophy.

It was more than just a win for the nation, though. This was about Lionel Messi finally capturing the one honour that evaded him, leading his country to glory on the grandest stage of them all in what was his last chance to do so.

And boy did he. Argentina erupted – as did the rest of the world – as the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner finally got his hands on football’s top prize, the story complete and peace restored among Argentinian football fans once again.

But what is just as important as reaching the top of the mountain is staying on top of it. And while the world went mad for Messi, everybody overlooked what comes next.

While it looks like La Albiceleste are a one-man band ready to live off Messi’s greatness for eternity, they’ve quietly got a talent factory of young wonderkids blossoming in Indonesia at the under-17 World Cup, laying down the foundations on their own path to stardom.

Leading that pack is 17-year-old Agustin Ruberto – River Plate’s starboy shining on the world stage and firing in goals for his country, tasked with keeping the flame lit and doing that tremendously, setting records along the way

A centre-forward by trade born in Buenos Aries, Ruberto already stands at six-foot-one and is, frankly, a complete footballing nerd. It’s in his veins.

He took an interest in the beautiful game from as young as four and has been with River Plate for as long as he can probably remember. Arriving at the club as a centre-back, youth coaches immediately saw something more in Ruberto and transformed him into a forward due to his combination of physicality and technical ability.

That explains why he’s now such a ruthless chance creator and goal-getter, obsessed with dominating in the final third like a relapsing addict.

He’s become the first ever Argentine player to net five goals at the under-17 World Cup – and we’re backing him to improve on that tally further.

What a frightening prospect.

Imagine turning up on a cold Wednesday night at Powerleague and seeing a teenager tower over you like that, ragdolling you around and rifling off shots like they’ve been charged up with nuclear power? Yikes. No thanks. We’ll try again next week.

Ruberto towers over his markers and peers, but crucially doesn’t just rely on his size. Retaining possession superbly with his tricky feet, he’s somehow always able to catch a glimpse of goal or feed someone else through.

A nous like that at his age is astonishing. And his colleagues have picked up on it too.

Long-time teammate Claudio Echeverri – also at the under-17 World Cup – told FIFA‘s official website that Ruberto is ‘very important’ to the side: “His biggest virtue he has is that he wants to score goals. That’s what’s good about him, that’s what makes him stand out.”

You certainly don’t need reminding of that.

Five goals and counting at the World Cup is merely the very beginning for Ruberto, who has all of the tools to follow in the footsteps of his nation’s greatest and fly the flag high for La Albiceleste in the post-Messi era.

By Mitch Wilks

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