Where does Vinicius Jr. rank among the best players under 25 years old?

Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Vinicius Jr. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images) /
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Dortmund, Erling Haaland
Dortmund, Erling Haaland (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

4. Bayer Leverkusen AM Florian Wirtz

It may seem like Florian Wirtz is ranked too highly, and we, sadly, may not know how a torn ACL impacts his development. But for now, Wirtz belongs in fourth because of the intelligence and production he showed for more than a half-season at Bayer Leverkusen, challenging Borussia Dortmund for second in the Bundesliga.

Wirtz is a special, special player. Just 18 years old, Wirtz has a case for already being the best playmaker in the world. His decision-making is near-perfect, and his technical execution is enviable. Prior to the injury, Wirtz had 7 goals, 10 assists, 2.5 key passes per game, and 2.3 dribbles completed per match for Die Werkself.

Those are jaw-dropping numbers. Wirtz ran the show on a weekly basis for Leverkusen, turning heads and earning transfer interest from virtually every major club. Leverkusen have always known they’ve had a special player in Wirtz, even valuing him above Kai Havertz, who is writing a great chapter in his career at Chelsea himself!

3. Borussia Dortmund ST Erling Haaland

It was tough to rank Erling Haaland third instead of second, but because of the injuries and the need for him to continue to develop his all-around game, the Borussia Dortmund superstar has to just barely sit in third. But that is not a bad place to be in at all. Haaland has a case for being a top-five player in the world and could challenge Kylian Mbappe as the world’s best by this time next year. He just needs to stay on the pitch.

Haaland has 16 goals in as many Bundesliga appearances this season for Die Schwarz-Gelben, to go with five assists. He is often described as a robot or a machine because of his elite finishing and physicality. His speed is breathtaking. Amidst the injuries, we cannot forget how unplayable he was to start the 2021/22 season. Defenders were beyond scared going up against him, and he carried Dortmund in some matches.