The Olympics is a fantastic platform that allows young players to prove their worth on the international stage. Part of the excitement of the Olympics is the many future stars that it gives birth to. Below are the 5 "wonderkids" who have shone in this tournament.
1.Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
Much was expected from the 20-year-old who is considered the brightest prospect in South America and he duly delivered at the European stage. He was always a bag of tricks and entertaining flicks. His dribbles when pulled off ("when pulled off" is an important caveat) looked great. His pace and movement were always dangerous. However, his propensity to going to ground, his desire to do it all, his decision making are all areas where he can and needs to improve. He is a very frustrating player at times and needs to work on releasing the ball quicker and learning that the easy ball is sometimes the best ball to play. He has great vision and when he does look for a pass, it is incisive and productive, He was involved in almost all the goals Brazil scored.
2. Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior
People wanted to see whether this new Chelsea signing was the real deal. And anybody who watched had to be convinced. His three assists and one goal tells half the story. He was the heartbeat of the team whether he played on the right or behind the striker. He tended to pop up everywhere, recycling the ball and being involving in splitting the defenses with his passing and movement. His movement and composure is reminiscent of a young Iniesta. Chelsea have surely landed a bargain judging from his Olympic performances. He could have added another memorable final performance if he headed the ball to goal in the last moment of the game. The goal would have been Drogba-esque in so many ways. One of the stars this Olympics, although he still needs to earn the number 11 jersey he inherited from Drogba by imposing himself in crucial games.
His 5 goals from 5 games will have alerted clubs to the striker's capabilities. He is great in the air and his movement, strength and sense of timing is remarkable. He is always willing to take on a man and has the pace and shooting ability to score. He is only 19 and has a maturity in his style of play. He can only improve given the right conditions. He has definitely staked his claim for a European move. And talk of an Arsenal interest could very well mean a move is on the cards.
4. Sung Yueng Ki
He is not known as the "Korean Gerrard" for nothing. Perhaps his positional discipline means he is more the "Korean Yaya Toure". The talk of a move from Celtic is increasingly becoming a reality with Liverpool and Arsenal possibly fighting it out for his signature. He is great on the ball, with a very good passing range and has a dynamism in his style of play. He looks to go forward with energy but his intense pressing and defensive work are also remarkable. His penalty sealed Team GB's fate and his general performance was a major factor in South Korea winning the Bronze Medal.
5. Omar Abdulrahman
The UAE were unfortunate to be in the toughest group of the tournament but they gave a good account of themselves playing very attractive football. And at the heart of all things good was Omar Abdulrahman. His vision, passing and movement appeared as if he was a successful product of La Masia. Uruguay was a big test given the superior physical strength and fitness but Omar overshadowed the world stars with his silky style and passing which has now earned him a trial at Manchester City.
Other Notables. Hector Herrara, Pape Souaré, Zargo Toure, Romulo, Leandro Damiao,Gaston Ramirez,Diego Reyes.