Who will succeed Podolski and seize the Hyundai Best Young Player award at South Africa 2010? There are no shortage of contenders, among them Argentina forward Sergio Aguero, Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah, two players who have won the adidas Golden Ball awards at FIFA U-20 World Cups.
There is also classy Italian defender Davide Santon, the exciting Alexandre Pato of Brazil, Spain's flying winger Juan Mata, Japan’s Shinji Kagawa and Mexico forward Carlos Vela.
The eventual winner of the award will be selected by FIFA's Technical Study Group (TSG), a select group of top football coaches and analysts headed by Jean-Paul Brigger, a former Swiss international. Selection criteria are exceptional skills, a youthful and refreshing playing style, creativity and inspiration, tactical maturity and efficiency.
"To recognise the best young player we are also looking for someone who is entertaining with his play and is a role model for other young players," said Brigger.