In December 2014, after many months of in house argument, deliberation, research and *deep* reflection, we identified 100 young footballers across the globe that we believed to be the most exciting around.
Born on or after the first of January, 1993, we felt that these players were, all things considered, the most likely to kick on at that point. As with every year, you may not have agreed with our choices, but we had valid reason for each and every selection. One year on, we review The #IBWM100 for 2015.
Over the next four weeks, starting Wednesday 25 November, we’ll assess how 2015 has played out for each individual, summarising as succinctly as we can and marking the year for that individual as we see it. Remember, it is the year we are reviewing NOT the abilities of the player.
A An outstanding year, possibly trophy laden but a player making a huge impact for club and becoming essential for country. What more could they have done?
B An excellent year, rapid development made at club with international recognition nailed or imminent
C+ A very good year. Developing and performing better than we had expected with the next twelve months offering great promise
C A good year with steady progress made. A straight line which is the minimum we expect
C- A disappointing year. Progress has been made, but not as we would have hoped
D A poor year. Progress and development have been largely non-existent, and while not off the map completely, the player isn’t near where we thought he could be
E An abysmal year. Absolutely no progress made, development stunted and little prospect of anything improving any time soon
Whether you agree or disagree with our choices or marking is up to you, it's all about opinions, after all. However we do love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to leave comments below each individual article. You can also catch us on Twitter @inbedwimaradona - be sure to use #IBWM100.
On Wednesday, 23 December, 2015, we release our list for the next twelve months; The #IBWM100 for 2016.
Oh, one other thing. After five years of doing this we’ve become weary of the stockpiling approach adopted by some clubs when buying young players. Annually, we end up writing dozens of paragraphs relating to failed moves, months spent in the reserves or on a substitute’s bench somewhere. We appreciate that you may think there’s a natural selection process happening here, but we’ve seen too many talented players plummet early.
Our cynicism, however, is not aimed at you, but at the clubs that hoover up the protégé’s en masse in the hope that a financially lucrative asset emerges. Buying now so that their rivals can't later. We know that representatives of said clubs read these pages so this year we’ve provided each player with a unique bar code – a reflection on their status as commodity rather than idol. Enjoy the 100.