What is talent?

FIFA, 26 Oct 2023


Thousands of children and youngsters all over the world dream of making it to the top of the football pyramid. Only a very small percentage of these young hopefuls will have what it takes to play at the very highest level, and it falls to youth coaches to prepare that select few for a professional career.

In the latest of a series of compilation interviews recorded at the FIFA Blue Stars Tournament 2022, the FIFA Training Centre asked a panel including seven coaches and Switzerland’s most-capped female player about the specific characteristics that set the very best youngsters apart from their peers. Yet again, the experts came up with a broad range of responses that reflected both complex challenge of identifying and maximising potential in young players and differences in approach between clubs. However, they all agreed that aspiring professionals need a rare blend of natural talent, passion for the game and sheer determination if they are to reach the summit of world football.

Since this piece was filmed, Heinz Moser has left FC Zürich to join FC Augsburg, and Marco Otero has joined Olympique de Marseille from Valencia CF. The eight interviewees are thus attached to six different clubs in four European countries, and can each draw on a deep knowledge of the professional game and of youth coaching practices.

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