At the top today, shine in the youth league

The UEFA Youth League only started in 2013/14, but its graduates have already reached the top of the hierarchy.

With the 2022 Finals underway, here are five profiles and a list of the eleven players at the top today and have progressed through the Youth League.

Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain)
He appeared seven times in the 2013/14 Youth League, then achieved the feat of starting in Paris and winning the World Cup with France. Kimpembe scored his first goal in the UEFA Champions League with Manchester United in February 2019.

PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 11: Presnel Kimpembe of Paris Saint-Germain shoots the ball wide of Ismael Cero of Real Madrid during the UEFA Youth League quarter-final match between FC Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid at Stade Charletti on March 11, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mahtaropoulos/Getty Images)Getty Images

Matthias de Ligt (Ajax, now Juventus)
A key player in Ajax’s journey to the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi-finals before signing with Juventus, the centre-back played his last of ten UEFA Youth League matches in February 2017; Three months later, he saw the Europa League final against Manchester United. The following year he won the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus, which he joined that summer.

Matthias de Ligt in the Youth League 2016

Matthias de Ligt in the Youth League 2016© Getty Images

Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Mount had already been at Chelsea for over ten years when he entered the 2016 Youth League Final in his fifth appearance of the season. Almost immediately, the Blues, who had just lost the lead against Paris Saint-Germain, fought back to win 2-1. After successful loans to Vitesse and Derby County, Mount came first and provided the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League Final. On that day, Mount and Andreas Christensen became the first players to win the Youth League and Champions League.

Mason Mount in 2016

Mason Mount in 2016Sports

Leroy Sane (Now Schalke at Bayern)
Bought by Bayern after winning the league title twice with Manchester City and similarly excelling in the German League, the winger played 13 times in the youth league for his first club, Schalke, which helped him reach the last four in 2013/2014. A month after his last game at UYL, in February 2015, he scored his first UEFA Champions League goal with Schalke 04 against Real Madrid at the age of 19.

Leroy Sane with Schalke in 2015

Leroy Sane with Schalke in 2015© Getty Images

Kingsley Coman (Paris Saint-Germain, now at Bayern)
He appeared seven times with Paris in 2013/2014 and 12 months later made his Champions League debut with Juventus. In the summer of 2016, when he was 20 years old, the Bayern winger appeared in the final of Euro 2016 for France. Four years later, he scored the winning goal for Bayern over Paris in the Champions League final.

Kingsley Coman in the Youth League 2014

Kingsley Coman in the Youth League 2014AFP via Getty Images

But also…

Mile Svilar (Anderlecht, today in Benfica)

Trent Alexander Arnold (Liverpool)

Lucas Hernandez (Atletico, now at Bayern Munich)

Lorenzo Pellegrini (Rome)

Joao Felix (Benfica, now at Atletico)

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

And many more!

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