With competitive, top-level football on the horizon but not yet within our grasp, we’re helping wind down the time at B/R with a typical hypothetical game.

We’ve selected every top European club’s best XI using only players aged 25 and under, then ranked them in order of strength. They’re gauged on how good they are right now, as if they had to play in a tournament, not on what they could become in the future.

We ended up with more than 30 XIs from clubs across Europe, compared them and now present to you our top 16. Some excellent teams you’d usually associate with great young talent missed out, and some surprises made their way in.

A few things to be aware of:

Players out on loan (without a permanent move agreed) have been called back to their parent club for the purpose of this exercise. So Real Madrid get Martin Odegaard back, Jean-Clair Todibo returns to Barcelona and so on.

Loanees at clubs who have a permanent transfer arranged can stay and be counted. Examples of that are Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi at Inter Milan.

Players who have agreed transfers for July 1 but have not yet moved don’t count for that club. That means Francisco Trincao counts for Braga, not Barcelona. Continue reading…


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