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UEFA Europa League: Four rising stars

Published: Monday 15 April 2013, 14.00CET
With the UEFA Europa League semi-finals looming, we look at four rising stars from the four teams who could each play a big part in deciding the trophy's destination.
UEFA Europa League: Four rising stars
Benfica's Nemanja Matić has been a star performer this term ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 15 April 2013, 14.00CET

UEFA Europa League: Four rising stars

With the UEFA Europa League semi-finals looming, we look at four rising stars from the four teams who could each play a big part in deciding the trophy's destination.

There have been some outstanding performers in this season's UEFA Europa League – witness Iasmin Latovlevici's scoring heroics for FC Steaua Bucureşti against AFC Ajax, or S.S. Lazio forward Libor Kozák's eight goals en route to the quarter-finals. But as the semi-finalists prepare for action on 25 April, UEFA.com pinpoints the rising stars in their ranks – a quartet we should be hearing a lot more from in the future.

Mohamed Salah, FC Basel 1893
Date of birth (age): 15/06/1992 (20)
Position: Right wing
Selling point: A lightning-quick wide man who is blessed with rare balance and touch. The Egyptian international has run FC Zenit St Petersburg and Tottenham Hotspur FC, among others, ragged this term.
What they say: "If he was more clinical, his value would have another zero." Bernhard Heusler, Basel president.
What he says: "Sometimes the ball just doesn't want to go in, no matter how often you try. In five years' time, maybe I will take those chances and score."

Nemanja Matić, SL Benfica
Date of birth (age): 01/08/1988 (24)
Position: Central midfield
Selling point: A towering presence in the middle of the park, the Serbia man excels in breaking up play, but is equally adept at picking a pass and knows where the goal is.
What they say: "The way they kept the ball was fantastic, Matić in particular. The way he has grown since he has gone away from Chelsea, he's a terrific player for them." Alan Pardew, Newcastle United FC manager.
What he says: "You are either good enough or you're not, regardless of age."

Salih Uçan, Fenerbahçe SK
Date of birth (age): 06/01/1994 (19)
Position: Central midfield
Selling point: With goals to his name in domestic and European football already, the teenaged midfielder couples his enviable vision and skill with a penchant for the unexpected.
What they say: "I am not surprised by Salih's performances because he is a talented player. I wish him the best of luck and success in his career. He is a very valuable player for us." Aykut Kocaman, Fenerbahçe coach.
What he says: "I don't believe age is an important factor on the pitch. It doesn't matter if you're 19 or 39."

Victor Moses, Chelsea FC
Date of birth (age): 12/12/1990 (22)
Position: Attack
Selling point: Combining power, pace and skill in equal measure, the Nigerian international has caught the eye in his first Stamford Bridge season, providing the outgoing European champions with an extra threat.
What they say: "He can play on either wing. He has good dribbling ability, has pace and is powerful. He's young and hopefully he'll be the future of the club." Roberto Di Matteo, former Chelsea manager.
What he says: "I want to do the best I can, work hard week in, week out and try to play as many games as I can."

Last updated: 15/04/13 15.22CET

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