We’re going to take a look at the seven youngest players to get any kind of game time at the 2014 World Cup and how their careers have panned out since then. The players are ordered from oldest to youngest.
Here are the 7 youngest players at the 2014 World Cup: Where are they now?
7. Raheem Sterling - Manchester City
England had a real combination of youth and experience going into the 2014 World Cup, which they say is a recipe for success. It didn’t turn out that way for Roy Hodgson’s men, however, who didn’t win a single game and were dumped out in the group stage.
A rare bright spark for the Three Lions though was 19-year-old Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling. Fresh off the back of a season in which Liverpool had just missed out on the Premier League title. Sterling was working in tandem with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez in a prolific Liverpool front three, the wide man featured in all three of England’s group games.
Sterling spent just one more season at Anfield after the World Cup, before making a big money move to Manchester City. Heavily criticised at the time, the 23-year-old just won the Premier League title under Pep Guardiola with a record points tally, contributing the third most goals and assists in the division and he heads to Russia as England’s second best player.
6. Jose Gimenez - Atletico Madrid
Diego Costa and Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid look on during an Atletico Madrid training session ahead of there Europa League semi-final first-leg match against Arsenal at Emirates...
A couple of months younger than Sterling, Jose Gimenez was part of a Uruguay team that beat England 2-1 in the 2014 World Cup group stages. A strong and dependable centre-back, Gimenez is a part of Uruguay’s squad for the finals once again this summer, and he has racked up 42 caps at the age of 23. Gimenez was playing for Atletico Madrid back in 2014, and he still is now, where he often partners international team mate Diego Godin in Diego Simeone’s defence.
5. Adnan Januzaj - Real Sociedad
Adnan Januzaj only made his Manchester United debut in the 2013-14 season, but his performances under David Moyes were considered sufficiently impressive for him to make Belgium’s squad for their Golden Generations first World Cup. The midfielder had only committed himself to Belgium a couple of months before the tournament, having had the choice of representing multiple nations, and played in one group game against South Korea. Since then, Januzaj has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford, been relegated during a loan spell at Sunderland and joined Real Sociedad on a permanent deal, but he still did enough last season to earn a place in Roberto Martinez’s squad for the finals in Russia.
4. Divock Origi - Liverpool
Divock Origi of Liverpool battles with Wes Morgan Leicester City of during the Premier League Asia Trophy match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Hong Kong Stadium on July 22,...
The second consecutive Belgian in this seven, Divock Origi featured in every one of the country's games at the 2014 World Cup. He came on as a sub in each of the three group games, where he scored a crucial winner against Russia, before replacing Romelu Lukaku as a starter for Belgium’s knockout ties with Argentina and the USA. Liverpool fans were understandably excited when he joined them that summer, but he was immediately loaned back to Lille for a season. Four years on and now aged 23, Origi has never made a real impression at Liverpool, with 21 goals from 86 games. He spent last season on-loan at Wolfsburg, scoring 6 goals in 34 games, and unsurprisingly missed out on Roberto Martinez’s 23 man World Cup squad.
3. Carlos Gruezo - FC Dallas
The third youngest player to get on the pitch at the 2014 World Cup was Carlos Gruezo of Ecuador. Then aged only 19, the young defensive midfielder had joined Bundesliga side Stuttgart six months before the finals in Brazil. A hard working, defensively solid and technically sound holding midfield player, Gruezo made less than 20 appearances in two years at Stuttgart, before joining FC Dallas in the MLS. Since then, Gruezo has been a star for the Texas-based outfit, having made over 70 appearances to date.
2. Julian Green - Stuttgart
VfB Stuttgart's US forward Julian Green poses during a team presentation of the German first division Bundesliga football team VfB Stuttgart in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on July 21,...
From a former Stuttgart player now playing in the US, to a US international now playing for Stuttgart, the second youngest player at the 2014 World Cup was Julian Green. Green had only just turned 19 when the tournament kicked off, and he became the youngest goal scorer at the finals when he scored in the USMNT’s knockout round defeat to Belgium. A versatile left sided player, Green joined Stuttgart from Bayern Munich in December 2016, but spent last season on-loan at second tier side Furth.
1. Luke Shaw - Manchester United
Luke Shaw, remember him? The Southampton left-back was the only 18-year-old to feature at the 2014 World Cup, and he joined Manchester United just three days after England crashed out in the group stage. A quick and industrious full-back who combined attacking threat with defensive solidity, Shaw had made 60 Premier League appearances at the age of 18, and the world was at his feet. His £30 million move to Manchester United made him the most expensive teenager in world football, and it seemed like reasonable business.
However, Shaw sustained a shocking double-leg fracture in September 2015, and his career is yet to truly recover. He has had a fractured relationship with current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, and a move away from Old Trafford may now be in the best interest of both parties.
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