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Five potential stars from Under-20 World Cup

Five potential stars from U20 World Cup
© AP Photos
Sports Mole takes a look at five players who impressed during the recent Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

France secured their first ever Under-20 World Cup this evening, beating Uruguay 4-1 on penalties in the final.

After almost three weeks of competition and 51 matches overall, potential stars had the chance to shine on a stage that has previously helped launch the careers of the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Here, Sports Mole brings you the five players who impressed most throughout the tournament and look to have a bright future ahead of them.

Paul Pogba (France)

Perhaps the most well-known player at the World Cup, Paul Pogba came into the competition with the added pressure of being France's captain on his shoulders. After a season of experience with Juventus, however, the challenge came easily to Pogba. The imposing midfielder was a physical presence in the middle of the park in every game he played, but he perhaps saved his best performance for the final. The former Manchester United man capped off a fine display by scoring his side's first penalty in the shootout, firing them on their way to a memorable victory. His contributions were recognised by FIFA when he was awarded the Golden Ball for being the most valuable player at the tournament.

Frank Acheampong (Ghana)

Having already made his senior debut for Ghana, Frank Acheampong came into the tournament as one of his side's most experienced players. Ghana did not get off to the best start, losing their opening two matches, but Acheampong kick-started their revival with the opening goal against the USA in their final group match. He went on to score one more goal - in the third-place playoff - but his biggest contribution came against Chile when he ran the defence ragged until the 121st minute, setting up Ghana's dramatic late winner to send them through to the semi-finals.

Jese (Spain)

Real Madrid striker Jese was lethal for Spain until their shock exit at the hands of Uruguay in the quarter-finals. He scored twice in their opening match against the USA before scoring the only goal of the game to see off Ghana. He scored what proved to be the winner against France in their final group game and went one better when he netted in the 90th minute of Spain's last-16 match against Mexico to seal a 2-1 win. Despite being eliminated in the quarter-finals, Jese still picked up the bronze boot as the tournament's joint second-highest scorer.

Bruma (Portugal)

There is a reason why Chelsea are so interested in Bruma, and he showed it during this competition. His stay was a lot shorter than he would have hoped due to Portugal's surprise exit at the hands of Ghana in the first knockout round, but he still left his mark on the World Cup. Portugal scored goals for fun during their campaign, with Bruma bagging two in their opening match against Nigeria. He added another to this tally against South Korea in the next match before a brace against Cuba. He could not get on the scoresheet in the 3-2 defeat to Ghana, but his five goals in four matches earned him the silver boot.

Ali Adnan (Iraq)

No-one expected Iraq to do half as well as they eventually managed, reaching the third-place playoff which they lost to Ghana 3-0. The biggest reason for their fairytale run was full-back Ali Adnan, who has a rare mix of defensive solidarity and attacking flair. He scored a crucial equalising goal in the 93rd minute of Iraq's match with England before grabbing his second of the tournament with a superb free kick against Uruguay in the semi-finals. His marauding runs down the wing did not stop, no matter what minute of the game they were in. Iraq were forced into extra time in all three of their knockout games, and Adnan looked as full of energy in the 120th minute as he did in the first.

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Ghana's Ebenezer Assifuah celebrates scoring during the Under-20 World Cup quarter final soccer match between Ghana and Chile on July 7, 2013
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