Fabio Capello and Dunga could well regret the omission of Theo Walcott and Neymar respectively following the World Cup if their squads fail to show the necessary sparkle and invention in South Africa.
Young players traditionally make a big impact at the World Cup, Pele in 1958 and Paul Gascoigne in 1990 are just two famous examples. At the end of a long hard season, young legs can make a real difference allied with a mentality of wanting to prove to the world that they have what it takes on the biggest stage of all.
Below are 101ggâ€™s tips for the 10 young players likely to make a name for themselves at the 2010 World Cup. The criteria for inclusion are that the starlet must be 23 or under and not already a world star, hence Lionel Messiâ€™s exclusion.
There are also some honourable mentions at the bottom of the piece but feel free to add your tips in the comments. Simply click on the name for video evidence.
Mesut Ozil (Germany, 21)Â It is no exaggeration to say that the Werder Bremen playmaker has the ability to be as good as the very best including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ozil has it all and was a major factor behind Germanyâ€™s Under-21 European Championship win last summer. Contributed an incredible 19 assists in the Bundesliga last season, Ozil is the key attacking player in Jogi Lowâ€™s team and he is unlikely to disappoint.
Pedro (Spain, 22) After scoring 20 goals for Barcelona last season and establishing a new record of netting in six different competitions, Pedro could be a key player off the bench for Spain in South Africa. Unlikely to start for Vicente Del Bosqueâ€™s side, Pedro has the natural flair and goal scoring ability to make an impact against tired opponents. Established himself in Pep Guardiolaâ€™s all-conquering Barcelona side and has the momentum and goal scoring ability to be a key man for the European champions.
Aaron Lennon (England, 23) The Spurs flyer missed almost the whole of the second half of the season which should leave him fresh for the World Cup. Theo Walcottâ€™s omission means Lennon is now certain to start Englandâ€™s group games and if he showcases his blistering pace should set up plenty of goals for Rooney, Crouch and co. Has often been criticised for failing to score goals and his wayward crossing but this was evidently improved in the first half of 2009/2010.
Alexis Sanchez (Chile, 21) Nicknamed â€œwonderboyâ€ as well as the â€œChileanâ€ Lionel Messi, Sanchez is the creative fulcrum in a Chile side that could well surprise in South Africa. He has impressed for Udinese over the past two seasons after moving from River Plate and averages close to a goal every other game for the national team.
Pablo Barrera (Mexico, 22) The Pumas UNAM Mexico winger can play on either flank and is exceptionally quick. Unlikely to be an automatic starter in Javier Aguirreâ€™s first team, Barrera is set to be an impact substitute and has impressed in the recent warm up games.
Nicolas Lodeiro (Uruguay, 20) The Uruguay front line of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez have been tipped to bang in the goals but it is Lodeiro who will provide theÂ ammunition for the celebrated front pair. Has had a slow start to life in European football with Ajax since a January move but was a sensation in his home country and was predictably nicknamed â€œThe Uruguayan Messi.â€
Sergio Romero (Argentina, 23) Diego Maradonaâ€™s undisputed number one going into the World Cup will be looking to show the form that saw him play a key part in AZ alkmaarâ€™s Eredivisie title win in 2008/2009. Crucially the 6.3ft custodian is adept at saving penalties which could lift him to hero status in the latter stages of the tournament.
Keisuke Honda (Japan, 23) In true Japanese tradition, their bright young hope is a cultured midfield schemer. Honda rose to prominence in Holland with VVV Venlo and then impressed for CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. Has an excellent shot from distance and is also a fine set-piece taker.
Marek Hamsik (Slovakia, 22) Probably Slovakiaâ€™s most important player, Hamsik has been incredible for Napoli in recent seasons and will likely get on the scoresheet in South Africa. He chipped in with 12 Serie A goals last season and 10 the year before, coming from deep he can cause havoc.
Gervinho (Ivory Coast, 23) The â€œBrazilian Elephantâ€ was one of the best strikers in France last season impressing for Lille alongside another starlet in Eden Hazard who wonâ€™t be in South Africa. Gervinho has all the qualities to frighten even top quality defences like Brazil and Portugal but like many of the players on this list could be used as an impact player if Didier Drogba or Aruna Dindane fail to score.
Honourable mentions: Lionel Messi (!), Simon Kjaer (Denmark), Jesus Navas (Spain), Alexandre Song (Cameroon), Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina), Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Michael Bradley (USA).