All-star XI for 2022 World Cup – and seven Premier League stars make the cut

The World Cup rarely passes without at least one young talent blossoming into a fully-fledged superstar.

Four years ago it was French teenager Kylian Mbappe who announced himself as one of the very best on the planet by firing his country to glory.

And already there appears to be a long line of likely contenders to do something similar in Qatar.

The great news is that any such list these days must include several of England’s highly fancied squad to be creditable.

Take your pick from Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, Mason Greenwood or Emile Smith Rowe.

All four have different attributes but right now it’s hard to look beyond Arsenal ace Saka because of his relentless rise with club and country.

Of all the Emirates youngsters, he has been the one permanent fixture in Mikel Arteta’s side for the last 16 months. Expect him to become equally indispensable for Gareth Southgate.

As for the rest, Spain boast Barcelona midfielder Pedri. He showed at the Euros, he was one for the near future.

And though the upheaval at the Nou Camp has been tricky, having Xavi installed as his new manager should be perfect for his progress.

Sticking in La Liga but switching to Real Madrid, Brazil forward Vinicius Junior is finally fulfilling expectations with nine goals in 16 games.

Would you make any changes? Let us know in the comments section.

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Then there’s Germany’s new kid on the bloc Florian Wirtz, 18.

The Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder has won four caps already and is having a sensational Bundesliga campaign with seven goals for his club. There is clearly loads more to come from him.

Another to keep an eye on should his country reach Qatar is Austria and Hoffenheim playmaker Christoph Baumgartner, whose performances at the Euros were outstanding.

With all the talent set to be on display, Daily Star Sport looks at the all-star XI of superstars who will light up Qatar.

Gigio Donnarumma

He lifts the Euros with Italy, leaves AC Milan on a free for Paris Saint-Germain and finds himself sharing keeper duties with equally brilliant Keylor Navas.

No wonder Donnarumma is a little perturbed, but he is still destined to be the top stopper out in Qatar.

Reece James

Fast becoming the best right back in the world, it his ability to rattle in goals that has really caught the eye of late.

Winning the Champions League last summer actually limited the Chelsea man’s input at the Euros with England. That won’t happen in Qatar.

Ruben Dias

Manchester City defender Dias, 24, oozes class whether snuffing out attacks or creating them with exquisite distribution.

Wasn’t at his commanding best in Euros with Portugal but the current FWA Player of the Year looks recovered and refreshed this season.

Virgil Van Dijk

It would be a travesty if Holland do not make the finals, especially for their smoothest operator at the back.

Unable to recover from his knee injury in time for last summer’s Euro’s, Liverpool’s fit again Van Dijk deserves to be gracing the biggest stage of all.

Ben Chilwell

In order to be a part of this all-star Premier League rearguard, the Chelsea left-back must overtake Luke Shaw in England’s pecking order.

If he does, and there is every chance he will, then that ability to create and finish will make him a standout figure in Qatar.

N’Golo Kante

The best ball-winning, ball-retaining midfielder in the game, the Chelsea ace will be a key man in France’s defence of the trophy.

His energy, his passion and his knack of being in the right place to interrupt the opposition makes him untouchable in the role.

Phil Foden

Injury robbed the Manchester City playmaker of his opportunity to shine in a major final at the European Championship against Italy.

But on the evidence of the new campaign, Foden will more than make amends for that disappointment a year from now. Mesmerising.

Kevin De Bruyne

Left black and blue by Antonio Rudiger in the Champions League final, the Belgium playmaker was a shadow of his usual brilliant self at the Euros.

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This season has started slowly by those standards but, make no mistake, the Manchester City will be flying by time the World Cup comes around.

Federico Chiesa

The Italy winger was a pivotal figure in the summer success of Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri at the Euros.

The on-loan Juventus star, 24, has continued to sparkle this term with assists and goals and is now regarded by Liverpool as a possible replacement for Mo Salah.

Kylian Mbappe

Hard to envisage anything other than the French ace being in the thick of the mix for the Golden Boot award.

PSG striker could be with Real Madrid by next season but that will not stop him plundering goals for Didier Deschamp’s world champions.

Neymar

The Paris Saint-Germain star will be 31 in Qatar – the same age as Pele when the Brazil legend won the World Cup for a third time in 1970.

Whether Neymar can emulate that with his first success on the biggest stage of all remains to be seen but will be desperate to do so.

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