Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWill the next Fabio Cannavaro or Luis Figo be found in Denmark this month? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Will the next Fabio Cannavaro or Luis Figo be found in Denmark this month? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Will the next Fabio Cannavaro or Luis Figo be found in Denmark this month?

Not to discredit Denmark, the 12th best country in Europe to play the sport of football, according to FIFA, however not many would expect to find the next hot prospect in Southern Scandinavia, furthermore in the month of June, when the Danish ‘Superliga’ season has finished. Although, any club with initiative and the transfer money to spend, would have their best scouts sent to Aarhus, Aalborg, Herning and Viborg, for 15 days, starting Saturday as the 1992 European Championship winners hold the Under-21 version of the tournament.

In terms of nationality, there will be no Cannavaro or Figo found playing in Denmark this month, as neither Italy or Portugal have managed to qualify and fit themselves into the eight-team tournament, however, in terms of quality, there is every possibility and expectations are high, on the shoulders of the next generation of footballers to follow in the footsteps of greats.

The Under-21 European Championships have always been a good platform for young players to produce, and this is a great competition to give the opportunity to players from Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Iceland, Spain, Switzerland and the Ukraine in 2011. The tournament helps convey what the future holds, as between 1990 to 2004, Italy established near-total dominance, winning five of the seven tournaments, and going on to win the 2006 World Cup.

A young Fabio Cannavaro won the tournament consecutively in 1994 and 1996, and went on to lift the World Cup in 2006, picking up the World Player of the Year accolade and becoming the most capped Italian in the process. The Man of the Match in the 2006 Final, Andrea Pirlo, is also a successful product of the Under-21 competition, as he scored both goals in a 2-1 final win over Czech Republic’s Under-21s, six years earlier, also picking up the trophy as captain and the tournament’s top goal-scorer award.

Cannavaro and Pirlo both won the Golden Player award, as did Alberto Gilardino in 2004, as his success as a Under-21 winner took a rapid development, becoming Serie A Player of the year, eventually bought for 24 million euros by Milan, from Parma, and the striker went on to have a successful run with a goal record of 1 in 2 in the league, picking up a World Cup at the end of the season.

It is clear these European players should be at their peak by the time they get to Russia in 2018, while some may even make a name for themselves by Brazil 2014, and some already have made a stamp on Europe, with the likes of Jack Wilshire, Sergio Busquets and Pedro staying at home this Summer, while technically being able to play.

The recent attention on the England Under-21 Europen Championship squad only conveys more so how important this competition has become with Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones making £15 million+ moves to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively. The two moves have seemed slightly rushed over the past few days, almost like the last day of the transfer window rather than the beginning of June. The two North-West rivals have shown eagerness in getting the deals done, in case they have successful campaigns in Denmark as expected, whilst the most expensive British player ever, Andy Carroll, has also decided to stay at home with Wilshere. Furthermore, Michael Mancienne has already moved to Germany (Chelsea – Hamburg), Chris Smalling made a £10 million pound move to Manchester recently (Fulham – United), with transfer gossip pooring heavily on the likes of Jack Rodwell and Connor Wickham, it seems at the moment the focus is on the next big thing, rather than players who have already peaked.

With these new transfer policies, many clubs will look out for their ‘golden player’ to step out from the crowd in Denmark, before spending their Summer transfer budget, with Golden Player signings such as Mark Hateley (Portsmouth – AC Milan) and Royston Drenthe (Feyenoord – Real Madrid) making moves post-successful tournaments, whilst Rudi Voller, Eric Cantona, Rui Costa, Petr Cech, Giorgos Karagounis and Christian Vieri have all made moves, following a successful Under 21 competition. Although, at the same time the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Raul have failed to make an impression, so it never completely tells the future of European football. Will the next Fabio Cannavaro or Luis Figo be found in Denmark this month? Only time will tell.

Adam Caldwell 

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