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Just Imagine

World football's got talent

  • Story Highlights
  • Egypt's captial city Cairo, is hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup
  • Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi have all been unearthed in former years
  • As the last 16 begins, we highlight the five best players with X-factor to win
By James Montague
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(CNN) -- The job of a football scout can be difficult -- soccer's Simon Cowells are charged with scouring the pitches of the world by their respective clubs, to find the youth of today who will become the stars of tomorrow.

Brazil's Douglas Costa is one of the talented youngsters playing at the Under-20s World Cup.

Brazil's Douglas Costa is one of the talented youngsters playing at the Under-20s World Cup.

But their hard task has been made easier this month with a veritable bonanza of soccer's most skilful youngsters on show at the Under-20 World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.

No surprise then that many of the world's top talent spotters have descended on the tournament in the hope of repeating jackpot finds of previous years where the likes of Diego Maradona, Robert Prosinecki, Adriano, Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have been unearthed. Photo CNN's pick of the ones to watch. »

All the of above are former winners of the "Golden Ball" -- the award given to the event's best player -- a prize that is arguably the most important to win in youth world football.

Who has been your star of the U20 World Cup?

Already the Under-20 World Cup has been full of great play and goals, this despite many big European club sides coming under criticism from organizers FIFA for not allowing their star youngsters to attend.


Regardless of the disagreement, the tournament has witnessed some breathtaking attacking play with 115 goals coming from the group stages alone, where big names like England and Italy suffered defeat to the likes of Ghana and hosts Egypt.

As the tournament moves into the knockout stages, who will be awarded the Golden Ball and grab their chance to write their name in the stars? CNN chooses the five players who have the required X-factor.

All About FIFAWorld Cup SoccerManchester UnitedConfederation of African Football

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