The Italy international, who is considered ‘The new Gigi Buffon’, has been named as the best player in the world born on or after January 1, 1998
AC Milan starlet Gianluigi Donnarumma has claimed top spot in NxGn, Goal’s list of the 50 most promising talents in world football.
NxGn: The world’s top 50 teenage talents
We asked experts from our 37 editions across the globe to rate the best players born on or after January 1, 1998 in terms of first-team experience, potential and overall ability and ranked them by their final tallies.
Donnarumma finished top of the pile, with the 18-year-old Italian having already established himself as Milan’s No.1, as well as being capped twice by his country. ‘The new Gigi Buffon’ finished just ahead of Monaco ace Kylian Mbappe, who is being compared to Thierry Henry because of his blistering pace and composed finishing.
United States winger Christian Pulisic took third place and is one of three Borussia Dortmund players in the top 10, alongside Swedish striking sensation Alexander Isak (fifth) and exciting right-back Felix Passlack (eighth).
Staunton on Donnarumma
Peter M Staunton has some valuable advice for our #NxGn winner, AC Milan goalkeeper Gigio Donnarumma. Do you agree?
Posted by Goal.com on miércoles, 22 de marzo de 2017
Elsewhere, Alban Lafont, who finished fourth, is rivalling Donnarumma for the title of the world’s best young goalkeeper, with the 18-year-old presently starring for Toulouse in Ligue 1.
Donnarumma can be better than Buffon
Donnarumma’s team-mate Manuel Locatelli has produced a string of fine performances – and a couple of spectacular strikes – in Serie A this season and the midfielder secured sixth spot, just ahead of Nice’s commanding centre-half, Malang Sarr, who is being followed by Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona.
Norwegian prospect Martin Odegaard has yet to make a big impact at Real Madrid but still ranks ninth as he looks to kick-start his career during an 18-month loan stay at Heerenveen, while the incredibly versatile Timothy Fosu-Mensah has already shown that he has a bright future ahead of him at Manchester United.
Fosu-Mensah is the only Premier League player in the top 10 but the English top flight boasts the most representatives overall (10), one clear of Ligue 1, which justified its reputation as a hotbed of exciting young talent.
Donnarumma’s brother reveals all
While Dortmund are the only club that can boast three members in the NxGn, Milan (Donnarumma and Locatelli), United (Fosu-Mensah and Angel Gomes), Liverpool (Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold), Real Madrid Castilla (Sergio Diaz and Achraf Hakimi), Ajax (Justin Kluivert and Matthijs De Ligt) Paris Saint-Germain (Moussa Diaby and Lorenzo Callegari) and Metz (Vincent Thill and Ismaila Sarr) all have two apiece.