1. #1
    Willie Bee
    Willie Bee's Avatar Become A Pro!
    Join Date: 02-14-06
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    The 2006 wunderkind?

    Might be interesting to watch this kid Theo Walcott, should he actually play in this year's World Cup. Part of me shall be cheering for England mostly because of my admiration for longtime goalie Peter Shilton, who was something of a child soccer prodigy himself and put on a grand show in the 1990 Cup as England's 40-yr-old goal keeper.

    9 May 2006 ... by FIFAworldcup.com

    Theo Walcott may not have kicked a ball in anger for Arsenal but the England teenager will be writing his name into the record books in the coming weeks.

    The surprise name in Sven-Goran Eriksson's provisional England squad for the FIFA World Cup™, Walcott will supplant Wayne Rooney as his country's youngest ever player if, as some expect, he makes his senior international debut against either Hungary or Jamaica in the run-up to the finals.

    Walcott will be 17 years and 86 days old when England play their opening match against Paraguay, meaning he could become the second youngest player in finals history behind Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside, who appeared at the 1982 FIFA World Cup 41 days after his 17th birthday.

    And if, as England fans hope, Eriksson's men go all the way to the Final on 9 July, he could, at 17 years and 116 days, become the youngest player to appear in a FIFA World Cup Final, beating the record set by Pele in 1958, when the Brazilian was 17 years and 249 days. Not bad for a teenager not included in Arsenal's 18-man squad for the UEFA Champions League final.

    Walcott, who was taking his driving theory test when the England squad was announced, has played only 23 times in senior football, appearing in second division and cup matches for his first club, Southampton, prior to joining Arsenal in January.

    Like any Premiership football watcher, Eriksson has not seen Walcott play 90 minutes in the flesh – the Swede said yesterday that he had "seen a lot of him on videos" – and admitted his likely role was as a substitute. "I don't think Walcott or (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger think he is going to play seven games of 90 minutes in the World Cup. But sitting on the bench, if I see there is space out there, I will use his pace."

    Eriksson appears to believe that day has already arrived and unless another coach produces a similar surprise with his squad selection, Walcott will be the youngest player on show at the FIFA World Cup. Depending on his opportunities and impact, he could even be a candidate for the inaugural Gillette Best Young Player Award.

    Teenage kicks
    However, Walcott and Aaron Lennon - the uncapped Tottenham Hotspur winger also included by Eriksson - are not the only precocious talents preparing to pack their suitcases for the FIFA World Cup. Of the other teenagers seeking kicks in Germany, great things are expected of the 18-year-old Argentina forward Lionel Messi (who turns 19 on 24 June), while Cesc Fabregas, 19 last week and a colleague of Walcott's at Arsenal, will be looking to shine in the Spain midfield.

    Elsewhere, Netherlands coach Marco van Basten's attacking options include 19-year-old Ryan Babel, England's first opponents Paraguay will take to Germany the promising 18-year-old Jose Montiel, and midfielder Joao Moutinho, 19, is hoping for the call from Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

    Finally, Mexico fans have high hopes of Andres Guardado, a 19-year-old winger who made his international debut last December only three months after his first senior appearance for his club, Atlas. A rapid elevation by any standards – at least until Walcott came along.

  2. #2
    natrass's Avatar Become A Pro!
    Join Date: 09-14-05
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    No one has ever seen him play, thats the crazy thing. INCLUDING the England manager. But, apparently, he can run fast !!!

    What happened to Americas prodigal wonderkid. Cant remember his name but he was supposed to be the new maradonna or something.

  3. #3
    adriano's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I think his name was Freddie Adu or close to that. Must be 16, 17 now? I know for sure he is not in the US squad for the cup, but why?