Dansk Boldspil-Union, Denmark
Aug 1 2005

Ten future stars to follow


uefa.com picks out ten players who made a real impact at the
successful UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals in Northern
Ireland.


By Andrew Haslam

A number of players made a real impact at the UEFA European Under-19
Championship finals in Northern Ireland, perhaps signalling the start
of a promising international career. uefa.com picks out ten who have
caught the eye and could be ready shine on the senior stage before
too long.

Abdoulaye Balde (France)
The Amiens SC striker was a constant threat to opposition defenders
with his pace and power, racing clear to score against England in the
opening game of the tournament and striking twice more in the
semi-final win against Germany. Having scored seven league goals in
15 matches in 2004/05, his tournament finished with one goal and one
assist in the final victory against England.

Edel Bete (Armenia)
The Armenian goalkeeper produced a superlative display in the 1-1
draw with England on Matchday 2, save after save keeping the
attackers at bay and earning his side an unexpected point. A
confident shot-stopper who dominates the penalty area and is an
assured presence between the posts.

Vassiriki Diaby (France)
Similar in stature to Patrick Vieira, the AJ Auxerre midfield player
exudes equal authority in the centre of the pitch. Athletic and
powerful, his drive and ambition, allied to tireless energy and
relentless work-rate, was never more in evidence than in the final as
he spurred his side on again and again.

Matthew Fryatt (England)
The Walsall FC striker's finest moment came in the 3-1 semi-final
victory against Serbia and Montenegro, his blistering pace and
predatory instincts bringing him an impressive hat-trick. Also on
target in the group-stage draw with France, defences were caused no
end of problems by his movement and energy.

Stylianos Iliadis (Greece)
In an ultimately disappointing Greek campaign, their captain was a
lively presence who never lost heart. Always prompting thoughtfully
from midfield, his commitment and work-rate made him his side's most
consistently impressive performer.

Grant Leadbitter (England)
Despite his late red card in the final, the Sunderland AFC midfield
player gave ample evidence of his ability. Strong and fearless
tackler, his commitment and never-say-die attitude is allied to
exceptional vision and fine passing ability.

Karim Aoudia (Norway)
The Norwegian midfield player was his side's most regular goalscoring
threat, timing his runs forward to arrive in the penalty area at
exactly the moment. Aoudia scored Norway's first goal of the finals
in the 2-0 victory against Armenia on the opening day, and was on
target again against England, although that match ended in defeat and
elimination for the Scandinavian side.

Eugen Polanski (Germany)
The German captain led by example, driving forward from midfield at
every opportunity and working tirelessly to win back possession when
play broke down. At the heart of everything good about the German
side, he found the net against Serbia and Montenegro and Greece and
his free-kick for Kevin-Prince Boateng's late goal almost inspired a
dramatic fightback in the semi-final loss to France.

Thomas Stewart (Northern Ireland)
Came close to earning the tournament hosts a point in their opening
fixture against Greece when his shot was cleared at the last as it
rolled towards the net. Energetic and prominent throughout, he
finally found the target in added time against Germany on Matchday 3
- the very least Northern Ireland deserved for three displays full of
effort and endeavour.

Borko Veselinovic (Serbia and Montenegro)
Until injury curtailed his semi-final appearance against England, the
Serbo-Montenegrin captain was his side's best player. Scored twice
against both Germany and Greece and got the only goal against the
Northern Irish in the group stage, Veselinovic showed composure,
confidence and a cool head in front of goal.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress