The Bundesliga is home to some of the brightest young talents in world football, but which of them have made it into our Future World XI? Read on to find out...
Having already established which up-and-coming Germany stars are destined to win the FIFA World Cup in 2022, we here at bundesliga.com have decided to go global. So sit back, relax, and check out our carefully picked selection of the Bundesliga-based international starlets who are set to conquer planet football.
Goalkeeper: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg, 24, Belgium)
Despite sharing goalkeeping duties with club captain Diego Benaglio, 24-year-old Casteels has still managed to keep six clean sheets in his 11 Bundesliga appearances this term. An international arm-wrestle with Thibault Courtois for a starting place with Belgium looks to be on the cards, and the Chelsea stopper could have his work cut out. Casteels memorably helped the Wolves beat Bayern Munich to the Supercup 2015, saving a decisive penalty from one Xabi Alonso.
Right-back: Bernardo (RB Leipzig, 21, Brazil)
Bernardo may not have grabbed as many headlines as his teammates Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg, but he has been one of the underrated performers in Leipzig's remarkable debut season. The son of a former Brazil international, Bernardo helped Red Bull Salzburg complete an Austrian league-cup double in 2016, before signing a long-term deal with Leipzig. Quick, strong and versatile, he looks primed to become one of the Bundesliga's most formidable right-backs.
Centre-back: Andreas Christensen (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 20, Denmark)
The on-loan Chelsea man is considered one of the hottest defensive prospects in Europe. Having represented Denmark from U16 level through to the U21s, Christensen made his senior debut in June 2015, not long after his 19th birthday. He has been one of the first names on the Gladbach teamsheet this season – alongside compatriot Jannik Vestergaard – and has even managed to notch a couple of goals, against Mainz on Matchday 14 and Hamburg on Matchday 24.
Centre-back: Jesus Vallejo (Eintracht Frankfurt, 20, Spain)
Vallejo has been one of the standout defensive performers in the Bundesliga this season. Belying his tender years, the on-loan Real Madrid man has radiated confidence and composure at the heart of the Frankfurt backline, helping the Eagles to boast the joint-third best defensive record in the division. It is perhaps no coincidence that since the Spaniard got injured in February, Frankfurt have failed to win a game.
Left-back: Sead Kolasinac (Schalke, 23, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Kolasinac's superb displays for Schalke this campaign have prompted some observers to suggest that he may just be the best left-back in the Bundesliga. Talented and tenacious, the Bosnian international didn't let something as trivial as a fractured nose get in the way of his match-winning performance against Mainz on Matchday 25. He looks set to keep playing a starring role as the Royal Blues continue their push for Europe and prepare to face Ajax in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Watch: Sead Kolasinac's net-busting strike against Mainz
Defensive midfielder: Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich, 19, Portugal)
Bayern Munich don't make a habit of spending 35 million euros on 18-year-olds – so when they do, you know the player in question must be something special. Sanches – who arrived in Bavaria last summer fresh from winning UEFA EURO 2016 with Portugal – unquestionably has the potential to become one of the game's top midfielders. Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has even backed him to breach the gap left by retiring maestro Xabi Alonso – high praise indeed.
Defensive midfielder: Naby Keita (RB Leipzig, 22, Guinea)
With four goals and eight assists this season, Keita has been key to Leipzig's success. The Guinean international arrived from RB Salzburg along with Bernardo last summer, having been named the Austrian league's player of the year in 2015/16. A high-octane midfielder with an eye for goal, the 22-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable debut season in the Bundesliga, featuring in all but three outings. He looks set to keep lighting up the German top flight for many years to come.
Watch: The unstoppable rise of Naby Keita
Left winger: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich, 20, France)
Bayern's flying French winger looks like the natural successor to Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben (both 33), who are approaching the twilight of their glittering careers. Rummenigge and Ancelotti have made it clear that they want to make Coman's loan switch from Juventus permanent before his buyout clause expires on 30 April. In spite of some injury problems this season, the 20-year-old has made 18 appearances in all competitions, grabbing a clinical brace in the 8-0 demolition of Hamburg.
Attacking midfielder: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, 18, United States)
Since emerging from Dortmund's youth ranks as a fresh-faced 17-year-old in January 2016, Pulisic has taken the Bundesliga by storm, breaking scoring records for fun and turning heads on both sides of the Atlantic with his assured performances at the heart of midfield. Widely considered the most exciting American player of his generation, the precocious Pulisic – who has three goals and five assists in the Bundesliga this season – recently extended his deal with Dortmund until 2020.
Right winger: Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund, 19, France)
If Pulisic has taken the Bundesliga by storm, Dembele has thrown in an earthquake and a tornado for good measure. With no fewer than six goals and ten assists this term, the French prodigy has been one of the Black-and-Yellows' standout players, earning himself a regular starting berth and leading the charge to snatch second place back from RB Leipzig. Rapid, technically brilliant, and with an eye for a killer pass, Dembele is set to be a future star for both club and country.
Watch: Ousmane Dembele - February Rookie of the Month
Striker: Alexander Isak (Borussia Dortmund, 17, Sweden)
The Swedish teenager – who has been dubbed the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic – turned down offers from a host of top European clubs in order to join Dortmund in January. Having broken a host of records with club AIK, he became Sweden's youngest ever international goalscorer in a friendly with Slovakia earlier this year. The latest in a long line of young talents to choose to hone their skills in the Bundesliga – and at Dortmund in particular – Isak looks the complete package. Watch this space.
Watch: Alexander Isak on why he joined Dortmund