The 2022 edition of the Youth League will have RB Salzburg or Benfica as champion. The Austrians knocked out Atlético de Madrid in the semi-finals. They will play it against the Portuguese from Benfica who have João Félix’s brother, Hugo Félix, as one of their members. The little brother of the rojiblanco crack has in his hands to achieve the title that his brother does not have, who lost the 2017 final against a surprising Salzburg. Marco Rose, current coach of Borussia de Dortmund, was his coach.
This UEFA Youth Champions has been a nursery for many stars of the current scene. From Munir, who was the first player to win the Youth League and the Champions League, to Chelsea youth players: Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Mount, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Christensen… Each time the Youth League is the perfect barn where future generations are tanned.
And in these circumstances 3 players hold the Youth League record for top scorers with 15 goals. Coincidentally they have not been the luckiest at the moment in football. Two of them are Spanish. The best known for the follower is Borja Mayoral. The Real Madrid academy player, at 25, has managed to become European Under-21 and Under-19 champion with Spain. Loaned to Getafe, after trying to gain a foothold in the Roma forward, he could be Benzema’s substitute in the 2022-2023 season if Madrid manages to ‘take out’ Jovic and Mariano. He has been on loan at Wolfsburg and Levante. And he hopes to have a chance at La Roja very soon.
What happened to the other two?
Roberto Núñez (3-1-1996, Talavera de la Reina) was a center forward project that broke records as a youth at Atlético. In 2016 he made his debut under Cholo Simeone in the first team in the Copa del Rey match against Guijuelo. And he did it with a goal. But he did not find a place in Spanish football and in the summer of 2017 he left for Royal Antwerp for free after a decade at the rojiblanco club. After a bad experience in Belgium, he returned to Spain to play two seasons at Las Palmas Atlético. In the current campaign, the now known as ‘Mañas’, militates in the Second RFEF defending the colors of the Eagles.
Things have not gone better for the third party. Charlie Brown (9-23-1999, Ipswich) is another product of Chelsea’s fruitful academy. Center striker striker never made the leap that would make him explode in professionalism. A generation partner of Conor Gallagher, Lamptey, Gilmour or Marc Ghéhi, he has not had the luck of his teammates with whom he lost the Youth League final in 2019. Like Núñez, he went to the Belgian league and had no continuity. Currently he plays in the modest Cheltenham Town of League One. Far from the fame and success that was assumed in youth.