Sao Paulo’s Copinha is not the only youth event currently taking place involving a lot of potential future talents. In Qatar, Juventus, Barcelona, Ajax and PSG are amongst teams fighting for the Al Kass International Cup. This competition is for under 17 players. Read more about it here.
I watched a group game between Barcelona’s and PSG’s youth teams. It must be noted that it was not Barcelona’s main under 17 team, this side was the Juvenil B which consists of those who are younger than the maximum age limit.
The game itself ended with a 2:2 draw which favored PSG as they went through while Barcelona is forced to fly home. In honesty only one player really shone out. I’ll start with him and after that I’ve singled out 3 other players who showed some good signs. Two from either team, all attacking players because both defences were unimpressive, Barcelona’s was really slow and weak while PSG managed to cover their lack of quality in certain areas with bit more physicality.
Kingsley Coman (PSG)
He was clearly the best player on the pitch. He played as PSG’s right winger. He opened the scoring with a brilliant dribble past a couple of Barcelona players before slotting it in with his left foot.
Technically and physically he was very good. He used both feet without problems, had great control at top speeds and he was very explosive, very quick. A few lovely passes too. On top of that he showed a lot of hunger for the ball, getting back to help and often winning it too with tackles and interceptions.
He did play a bit wildly at times, often pushing forward when he was clearly going to lose the ball instead of giving a simple passl to a team-mate in central midfield.
He is currently just 15 years old and is part of the France’s under 16’s national team. Well worth keeping an eye on this name.
Alain Richard Ebwelle (Barcelona)
Barcelona’s number seven played in a 3-man attack and was very lively throughout, being the most involved of the trio upfront.
The Cameroonian seemed to pose great strength and decent dribbling skills, defender he was facing had a lot of trouble with him. Also showed to be an intelligent player, usually making the right decision when he had the ball.
He was probably my second favorite player on the pitch after Coman, but maybe a level below, at least on the technical side. He’s 16 years old.
Mickael Latour (PSG)
He played on the left side of midfield and was little less impressive than Coman but still created some problems for Barcelona. His dribbling style was very weird, his feet were in constant motion even when the ball was standing still.
For every other successful dribble he did have one that didn’t come off and the quality of his final product was lacking at times but it was his cross which created PSG’s second goal.
Wouldn’t bet my house on him to become a good player, but some potential was there from the 16-year old.
Sandro Ramirez Castillo (Barcelona)
Barca’s central forward was elected man of the match (and got a $1000 prize for it) but that was maybe down to his reputation rather than his actual performance, after all, he enjoys a great record in Spanish under 17’s national team where he scored 7 goals in 3 games in a UEFA qualifying tournament against Poland, Montenegro and Malta.
However, he was quiet in my opinion. He did score a goal but other than that his involvement could’ve been much greater.
On plus side, he seemed to be a good dribbler, causing problems for defenders when he faced them with the ball from standing start.
He is also 16 years old.