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Samar Maguire

GROUP D
Uruguay: Jose Maria Gimenez

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Age: 19-years-old
Position: Centre-back
Club: Atletico Madrid

Whilst not featuring much for the Atletico Madrid senior squad, Los Rojiblancos' president expressed his joy at acquiring Gimenez's services this year, as the centre-back is positively recognised for the stellar performances he gave in the U20 World Cup in Turkey in 2013: "Jose Maria complies perfectly with the profile of player we are looking to shore up the team. He represents everything good about Uruguayans: character, strength, and discipline." Atletico's director of football, Jose Luis Caminero, describes Gimenez as "a natural talent, fast defender who uses the ball well. He's a good marker and classy on the ball." The Uruguayan may not play for his country at this year's World Cup, but is one for the future.

Costa Rica: Joel Campbell

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Age: 21-years-old
Position: Forward
Club: Arsenal

Since signing a five-year-deal with Arsenal in 2011, the young Costa Rican forward has been on loan at three different clubs, slowly progressing as a goal-scorer. In his last loan stint, Campbell scored nine goals for Olympiakos, including one against Manchester United in the Champions League. Moreover, his creative prowess has developed further as he assisted 10 goals in the same campaign. The 21-year-old can play in all attacking positions and is likely to be at the forefront of the Costa Rican attack alongside Bryan Ruiz.

England: Ross Barkley

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Age: 20-years-old
Position: Midfielder
Club: Everton FC

One could argue that Barkley is a new species of English footballer, possessing deft ball retention capabilities in conjunction with close control and athleticism. According to Everton manager Roberto Martinez, Ross Barkley is so good that even "a chef could manage him." Under Martinez, the 19-year-old has developed from a deep-lying playmaker into an attacking midfielder with an eye for sensational goals. The midfielder is unlikely to start for the Three Lions, but even if he doesn't, Barkley has the potential to be one of the best players England has seen for a long time.

Italy: Marco Verratti

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Age: 21-years-old
Position: Midfielder
Club: Paris Saint Germain

Marco Verratti won Ligue 1's Young Player of the Year award this season and is touted as the heir to Andrea Pirlo. The 21-year-old is seen as something of a wildcard for the Azzurri, as their original choice in midfield, Riccardo Montolivo, sustained an injury ruling him out of the tournament. Having said that, the 21-year-old is a more than capable replacement, comfortable in possession and superb passing ability, exemplified through achieving a 92% passing accuracy for his club in 2013/14. Verratti usually plays as a holding midfielder but can vary between any central midfield position.

GROUP E...