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Ten Under-19 talents to watch

Published: Friday 2 August 2013, 9.47CET
UEFA.com's team of reporters in Lithuania pick out ten players who caught the eye at the 2013 finals, including victorious Serbia pair Predrag Rajković and Aleksandar Mitrović.

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Published: Friday 2 August 2013, 9.47CET

Ten Under-19 talents to watch

UEFA.com's team of reporters in Lithuania pick out ten players who caught the eye at the 2013 finals, including victorious Serbia pair Predrag Rajković and Aleksandar Mitrović.

UEFA.com's team in Lithuania pick out their ten to watch from the UEFA European Under-19 Championship – and remember, you saw them here first.

Yassine Benzia (forward, France)
The Olympique Lyonnais forward scored four times in qualifying and continued to showcase his clinical shooting skills in Lithuania. Witness his assured finishes against Turkey and Spain, a game in which his tireless running and harrying of defenders played a key part in France's extra-time semi-final victory.

Aleksandar Mitrović (forward, Serbia)
Claimed ten league goals for club side FK Partizan last term before making his senior international debut against Belgium. In Lithuania, Mitrović's penalty-area prowess yielded a goal in the 2-1 victory over Turkey and the winning spot kick in the semi-final shoot-out against Portugal. He then set up the decisive goal in the final for Andrija Luković.   

Adrien Rabiot (midfielder, France)
An unmissable presence at the heart of the France team thanks to his lofty stature and distinctive curly hair, the Paris Saint-Germain FC midfielder's composed passing and clever movement ensured that Francis Smerecki's side were tough to break down and used the ball well when in possession.

Gratas Sirgedas (midfielder, Lithuania)
A second-half substitute in the hosts' first two games, the left-footed midfielder was nevertheless one of his country's most dangerous players. Scorer of a fine goal against the Netherlands on matchday one, he added two more in the last fixture against Portugal, including a well-worked free-kick with the last touch of the game.

Avto Endeladze (midfielder, Georgia)
Although Georgia coach Georgi Tsetsadze was adamant his squad underperformed in Lithuania, the same cannot be said of holding midfielder Endeladze. The 18-year-old's exploits proved crucial to posting a scoreless draw with France while he later struck a blistering opener in his team's concluding match, a 4-2 defeat by Turkey. 

Predrag Rajković (goalkeeper, Serbia)
News that residents of his native Jagodina were preparing a homecoming for the goalkeeper even before the final came as no surprise given the Serbian's heroic performances in Lithuania. A voice of leadership on the pitch, his double save in the semi-final shoot-out against Portugal helped Serbia to a first final – and ultimately glory.

José Rodríguez (midfielder, Spain)
At this stage in their careers, few players look the finished article. Real Madrid CF's José Rodríguez is as close as they come, however – the ever-pressing, deep-lying midfielder the fulcrum of much of Spain's play. Supplied a clever assist for Sandro Ramírez's clincher against Portugal and converted a penalty against France in the last four.

Bernardo Silva (midfielder, Portugal)
The scheming SL Benfica prospect offered Emilio Peixe's side an attacking menace through the centre or down the left. His pace, vision, movement and goal threat were summed up in Portugal's equaliser against Serbia in the last four, as he played a rapid one-two with Ricardo Horta before finishing expertly.  

Recep Niyaz (midfielder, Turkey)
With Serbia enjoying a commanding 2-0 lead against Turkey in their group curtain-raiser, Fenerbahçe SK attacker Recep entered the fray and his eye-catching forward runs and probing passes changed the complexion of the game. His late goal failed to affect the outcome that day, yet two assists and another strike would later torment Georgia.

Lucas Woudenberg (defender, Netherlands)
An attacking full-back who covered plenty of ground during his nation's group campaign. The left-sided defender boasts strength and pace – now prerequisites for a player in his position – while he displayed a keen ability to track opposing wingers and put in expertly timed tackles.

This list has been compiled by UEFA.com reporters Andrew Haslam, Dmitri Mamykin, Ivan Vjetrović and Paul Bryan. The UEFA technical team will produce an official squad of the tournament as part of its technical report on the finals.

Last updated: 04/12/13 3.53CET

http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=1978673.html#ten+under+talents+watch

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