Discover the best South American wonderkids in Football Manager 2022, as we focus the attention on the best young football players from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Uruguay with the highest potential in FM22.
The South America continent has always been a hot-bed for magnificent football talents. From Brazil you got technical gifted players with amazing flair and agility, while Argentinian football talents are known for their great teamwork and work rate using their vision and tactical intelligence to make their remark. As Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Marcelo are reaching their latter stages of their career, a new breed of South American football talents are ready to take Europe with storm!
Today I’ll showcase some of the best young football players in South America that got immense potential to become a significant player for their national team and which we believe you should keep an eye on for the 2022-2023 season.
These young South American football players are the rising stars who one day can follow in the footsteps of legends like to Gabriel Jesus, Alexis Sanchez or Gonzalo Higuain to one day lift the Copa America for their national team. Or perhaps, these young talents is destined for European success as they are some of the best talents South America has to offer in Football Manager 2022.
To help you identify great signings for your Football Manager 2022 save, my list of Football Manager 2022 South American wonderkids and talents features only players that are still plying their trade in South American nations, and that are under the age of 21. This means that you won’t find João Pedro (Watford), Brenner (Cincinnati), Yan Couto (Man City), Talles Magno (NYCFC), Luka Romero (Lazio) nor Matías Palacios (Basel) mentioned. Instead they are featured in the shortlist (available to download below!), amongst hundreds of other talents we couldn’t find time or place for, for this piece.
Fellow Football Manager Content Creator Trumagoo FM will look more in-depth on three South American wonderkids in individual player reports in the coming weeks.
Here is the ultimate list of South American wonderkids every avid fans of the Football Manager series need for their quest to hunt trophies. Find wonderkids bargains and future stars that can help to bring success to your team, as we identify the best wonderkids in South America on FM22!
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FM22 South American Wonderkids Shortlist
Import all the best Football Manager 2022 South American Wonderkids to your save and keep tabs of the best young players with the highest potential from South America in FM22. Scour through over 300 South American talents and find the next gem for your club from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay or Colombia.
- The BEST Football Manager 2022 Wonderkids | Download The Ultimate FM22 Wonderkids Shortlist
- Football Manager 2022 Best Free Agents
- Football Manager 2022 Best Bargains & Cheap Players
- Football Manager 2022 South American Wonderkids
- FM22 Cheap Wonderkids & Bargain Talents Under €1Mill
- Hidden Gem Wonderkids in Football Manager 2022
12. Juan Diego Castillo / 18 / Fortaleza C.E.I.F
Club: Fortaleza C.E.I.F
I don’t know if the researchers at Sports Interactive finding it hard to predict the potential of young goalkeepers in the world but the fact is that there’s limited number of goalkeepers with huge potential in Football Manager 2022. Leyodemus showcased Sporting’s Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Callai in his video looking at cheap wonderkids in Brazil.
A cheap wonderkid goalkeeper from Colombia that I feel needs attention is Juan Diego Castillo. The 191 cm tall goalkeeper is currently part of the first team of the Colombian club Fortaleza CEIF and the Colombian Under-19 International squad.
The young Colombian sweeper-keeper got great handling, reflexes and one on ones abilities. His abilities to command the area and position himself accordingly to defend the goal, he could become the next Colombian goalkeeper that could one day be signed by European clubs.
Castillo’s best abilities is in his distributions. Able to both kick or throw the ball long or pass short with great accuracy, you don’t need to worry about whether you should play out of defence or distribute to target man in order to keep possession when the goalkeeper got the ball.
He could be a great target for Italian, Spanish, Belgium or Dutch clubs, and could be one to consider as your save advances four to 6 seasons in.
Estimated Transfer Cost: €160K-1.6Mill
11. Marcelino Nuñez / 21 / Universidad Cátolica
Club: Universidad Cátolica
When showcasing the best talents in South America the ranking is easily made up of young football players from Brazil and Argentina. Too avoid simply making this into a list of players from two to three nations I thought I should include the Chilean talent Marcelino Nuñez, who is a great bargain for Belgium, Dutch or French mid-table clubs.
Marcelino Nuñez is a 21 year old Mezzala or Advanced Playmaker that can either play as a central midfielder or attacking midfielder. The highly-talented Chilean midfielder received his debut for the Chilean National Team in September 2021 and have made a great impression in the Chilean Primera Division. With 8 goals and 9 assists over 48 appearances he might be the next player to come to Europe from Chile – following in the footsteps of Arturo Vidal or David Pizarro.
Estimated Transfer Cost: €Mill
10. Marcos Leonardo / 18 / Santos
Brazil has been a hot-bed for producing goalgetters as long as I can remember. From Bebeto and Romario in the ’90s to Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus most recently. These days there are a number of talented Brazilian strikers that has caught my eye. Matheus Nascimento (17), Kaio Jorge (19), John Kennedy (19), Joao Pedro (19) and Matheus Martins (18) are just a few we’ll see a lot more of in the future.
Marcos Leonardo is another Brazilian wonderkid with a growing reputation and could follow in the footsteps of Neymar and Ronaldo. The 18-year old forward is currently captain for the Brazilian Under-18 national team and recorded a hat-trick against USA in the Under-18 International friendly match on November 11th, 2021.
The advanced forward received his debut for Santos August 2020 at the age of 17 and 3 months. Since then he has scored 13 goals in 63 appearances and is part of a highly talented Santos squad featuring of wonderkids such as Sandry, Kaiky, Lucas Pires, Angelo Gabriel and Gabriel Pirani.
In FM22, Marcos Leonardo could become a great goalscorer. He got the movement, finishing and composure to finish off the attacks. He got decent quickness and flair to be creative in his positioning and make darting runs behind the oppositions defensive line. His ability to find space inside the penalty box and positional awareness gives indication that he knows where the goal is and can find the best positions to receive passes in dangerous positions.
You can use the player either as an left Inside Forward or Advanced forward. He can even be a great asset as deep-lying playmaker due to his strength and capabilities to hold up the ball and play others in.
With a potential between 130-160 Marcos Leonardo could be a great signing for teams right behind the top 10 clubs.
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Consistent and Fairly Adaptable, Fairly Versatile
Estimated Transfer Cost: €8.4Mill
9. Lautaro Ovando / 18 / Argentinos Jr
Club: Argentinos JR
Position(s): ST (AMRL)
If you’re looking for a more creative striker than Marcos Leonardo then look no further than to Lautaro Ovando. Approximately at the similar transfer cost, the Argentinian Advanced forward possesses flair, dribbling and technique to both create chances for his teammates and finish off the attacks.
Despite he’s yet to score his first official goal for Argentinos Jr. in real-life, he could be a great prospect in Football Manager. He’s wanted by Liverpool in my save and could be a great signing for the future as I believe he can develop nicely under your wings.
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Consistent Performer, Great Adaptability
Estimated Transfer Cost: €9-11Mill
8. Agustin Álvarez / 20 / Peñarol
For anyone who have played a bit of Football Manager the past years, it’s hard to come away from Uruguayan wonderkid Mátias Arezo but since most of you probably knows about the bargain price tag of him, I’ll instead recommend one of the three Peñarol Wonderkids in Football Manager 2022.
Agustin Álvarez, and not the one who plays as defensive midfielder with the same name, is together with Facundo Torres an incredible signing from Uruguay. Agustin Àlvarez was born in San Bautista in 2001 and is one to take on the heritage of Luis Suárez at the Uruguayan National team.
The #9 at Peñarol has scored 33 goals in 70 appearances this season! 12 goals in 25 appearances in the Primera División and an incredible 10 goals in 15 appearances in the Copa Sudamericana .- making him the top scorer of the tournament. That’s one goal every 119 minutes!
He’s currently wanted by Inter Milan and A.C. Milan and could be one of the next South American talents to move to European football in this winter transfer window.
He’s capable of scoring from all positions. Close-range, tap-ins, powerful shots from the edge of the penalty box or heading the ball into the back of the net. He’s very smart in his movements and always eager to shoot from every possible angle. His work rate and natural fitness will come in handy to beat his marker in aerial situations or at the ground. Use him as an Advanced Forward, Complete Forward or Pressing Forward and let him close down the opposition and chase loose balls behind the oppositions defensive line.
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Consistent Performer, Great Adaptability
Estimated Transfer Cost: €6-10Mill
7. Valentín Barco / 17 / Boca Juniors
Club: Boca Juniors
Football Manager 2022 sees a limited number of cheap wonderkids wingbacks available to sign right off the start of the game. With the modern wingbacks becoming more and more important in today’s football, it’s important to find wingbacks that got the quickness, stamina and attacking capabilities to aid the team as play enter the final third. Since their responsibilities are higher and more complex than other positions, finding the ideal wingback may be difficult.
In Argentina, there are two great prospects; Julian Aude (18) and Valentín Barco (17). While the first is more versatile and therefore more expensive, I want to highlight the wingback coming through the Boca Juniors Academy. Alongside River Plate, Boca Juniors have produced some of the finest talents in Argentina.
Valentín Barco came to my notice when he became the youngest ever debutant in Liga Profesional* in July 2021, and is labelled as one of the brightest talents coming through the Boca Juniors Academy in the last decade.
The former winger, who was re-trained in the wingback role has altered between playing for the reserves and training for the first-team – forced to be patient and focus on improving his game even further.
The red-headed wingback possesses great capabilities with the ball at his feet. Setting pace to sprint past his marker and get into a better position to make through balls, crosses or passes. His dribbling and acceleration makes him into a thorn in the oppositions side whenever the team enters the final third. With great capabilities and tactical intelligence to follow instructions and understand teammates positionings and runs, Valentín Barco is able to retain possession down the flank or move the ball quickly into the attacking third using his great vision and flair.
NB! In reality, Barco is more unpredictable and creative with the ball according to footages I’ve seen of him, than Football Manager predicts. I believe we’ll see a major update to him for the winter transfer update.
Standing out for his attacking capabilities, he’s decent in defensive situation as well. He got great tackling and aggression to win back possession quickly, or force mistakes by closing down his marker aggressively. Finally, Argentina got a modern wingback of immense potential top European football clubs are dying to sign!
* The record was later beaten by Santiago Castro, who know can claim himself as the youngest ever debutant in Argentina, entering the field at the age of 16 years 10 months and 16 days.
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Versatile, Great Adaptability
Estimated Transfer Cost: €1-6Mill
6. Alan Velasco / 19 / Independiente
Position(s): AMLC (AMR/ST)
I have to admit I’m weak for technical gifted players with a bunch of creativity and an ability to dribble past his opponent. The 167cm tall inverted winger Alan Velasco fits this description perfectly. The Argentinian wonderkids excels with the ball at his feet. With low centre of gravity, he cuts inside from the left wing, causing chaos as he enters zone 14 with the ball at his feet to shoot or make through balls.
Alan Velasco’s abilities to draw attention and drag opposite players out of position creates space for his teammates. Skilled at making runs into space and understand where he needs to be to become an attacking threat he forces the opponent’s to be on their toes. His quickness both with and without the ball should not go unnoticed.
Alan Velasco’s energic playing style, attacking mind and quick thinking might make him a suitable candidate for the top European clubs some time in the future, and I’d like to go as far as to describe him as the Argentinian Sadio Mané. Who knows, perhaps in 10 years he’ll be the one putting on the Liverpool shirt at a weekly basis?!
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Versatile, Fairly Consistent
Estimated Transfer Cost: €6Mill
5. Renan / 19 / Palmeiras
When Football Manager 2022 was released, a new player role was included. We got introduced to the wide centre back player role – a morph between a wingback and a central defender. The Brazilian wingback Renan is a great candidate for the WCB role in FM22.
Renan Victor da Silva was promoted to the first team of Palmeiras 01.01.2021 and have since then made 52 appearances (both cups and league matches). The left-footed central defender is enriched with both great defensive qualities and attacking qualities – meaning he can play as both fullback in a 4-3-3 system, a centre-back in a back four or a WCB in a back three.
With a great understanding and awareness of the situation and where he needs to be, he’s very intelligent and mature for his age. He’s good at winning back possession in a cleanly manner and got great physic to man mark opposing players. His quickness and abilities to cover larger areas of the pitch makes him a great asset to the defensive contribution of the team’s game.
In possession of the ball he’s got the vision and passing the modern centreback needs when playing out from the back. His dribbling and crossing makes him into an attacking threat as play advances up the field.
In FM22, it might be difficult to get the player for a cheap price as his contract is not set to expire until 2025, but if you got a huge transfer budget, like Newcastle, make him into a top target. In fact, his wage demands will not be out of this world as he’ll most likely to want a wage between €22-32K per week, in the first season.
Hidden Attributes: Fairly Versatile, Fairly Consistent, Fairly Adaptable
Estimated Transfer Cost: €40-60Mill
4. Matheus França / 17 / Flamengo
The Flamengo Academy has done a great job the last 10 years producing world-class attacking midfielders and forwards. Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid – now valued at €100Mill and Borussia Dortmund’s Reinier are two wonderkids coming through the Flamengo conveyer belt.
Now the Flamengo Academy is complemented with two new Brazilian talents with extreme potential; 17 year-old midfielder Matheus França and 15 year old inverted winger Matheus Goncalves.
Matheus França was born April 1st, 2004 and is currently part of the Under-17 Brazilian National team. He’s yet still to make his official debut for the Flamengo first-team, but could be one to watch in Brazil for the 2022-2023 season. The young teenager is very versatile and could potentially play both as a Mezzala in the MC-position, shadow striker in AMC-position, inside forward (AMRL) or as a False Nine.
Standing out for his playmaking abilities; vision, technique, first touch, passing, dribbling and flair, he’s one who excels in possession of the ball. With great balance, agility and movements he’s a great press-resistant player – able to hold onto the ball regardless of the amount of pressure and available space around him. With the ball at his feet, he’ll able to use his low centre of gravity, close control and quickness to get behind his marker with tricks and quick-thinking.
Despite very young, he’s got everything you want from a Brazilian winger. In FM22, he even got the aggression, stamina and work rate to be a great asset for any teams playing with a high pressing intensity and could potentially be a brilliant signing for Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Münich, Manchester City, Barcelona or Liverpool in the future.
Estimated Transfer Cost:
3. Facundo Farías / 18 / CA Colón
Club: CA Colón
Position(s): AMC (AML/ST)
Facundo Farías is one of the latest stars in making that have lightened up the Liga Profesional 2021 season. The highly-rated attacking midfielder was born in Santa Fe on August 28th 2002 and is one of the best local talents hat has ever come through the Colon Academy.
Facundo Fariás received his debut for Club Atletico Colon in November 2019 and have managed to record 8 goals and 7 assists over 48 appearances. This season he made a phenomenal contribution to Colon lifting the Copa de la Liga Profesional trophy by making 4 assists and 2 goals over 10 appearances.
Throughout the last two seasons, Facundo Farías has been used in 6 different positions. His versatility have seen him play both as a striker, winger and even defensive midfielder.
One of my favorite FM22 wonderkids stands out for his abilities to utilize space between the lines. He’s brilliant at finding and creating space to take advantage of his phenomenal close control and trickery. With the ball at his feet his a very direct player who likes to take on opponents in one-on-one situations by dribbling past them. With amazing technique and vision, he drops deep from his advanced position to receive passes in tiny areas and set up others with sensitive passes.
His dribbling, flair and movements makes him a great candidate as Inside Forward, Attacking Midfielder Trequartista or the False 9 role. The Argentinian wonderkid is one with immense qualities and potential and could potentially become one of the most creative Argentinian players in the future.
In fact, his skills (strength and weaknesses) might resemble FM legend Juan Román Riquelme – a player who was fairly inconsistent with his performances and lacked the work rate to make a remark throughout the full 90 minutes but stunned pundits and opponents with his trickery, fantastic vision and great long shots.
In FM22, Facundo Farías got great abilities for his age. Yes, he needs to improve his physic, anticipation and decision-making to be more intelligent when he gets the ball but could thrive in the AM-position as an advanced playmaker (Enganche or Trequartista). For the moment, I believe he lacks the acceleration and stamina to be used in the Shadow Striker role.
In my save, Juventus moved fast to secure the talent by signing him for the bargain fee of €3.7Mill! All I can say is sign Farias whatever price! He’ll be a great signing for any team looking to play on the counter with quick tempo and more direct passes.
Hidden Attributes: Not Very Consistent, Poor Adaptability, Fairly Versatile
Estimated Transfer Cost: €4Mill
2. Kaiky / 17 / Santos
Are you a fan of Pepe, the former Real Madrid defender, and is searching for a defender of similar skills, then the Brazilian ball-playing defender Kaiky at Santos could be the one you desire.
The 17 year-old defender is a fairly mature player for his age. With great anticipation, positioning and concentration he’s one who can intercept passes and moves brilliantly. Above I compared him to the Portuguese Pepe for defensive qualities but in fact Kaiky is better in possession of the ball than Pepe. Featuring better vision, first touch and technique he’s what the top clubs of Europe are looking for in their defending targets. The 181cm tall defender is also good in aerial situations, both for defensive and attacking situations.
The former Brazilian Under-16 captain is now part of the Santos first team and have managed to record 37 appearances last season – making 15 appearances in the Serie A. With a market value of €8Mill according to Transfermarkt, he’s together with teammate Angelo Gabriel, one of the most valuable teenagers in South America. In FM22 on the other hand, you might be fortunate to sign the player for under €20Mill – something I’ll describe as an utterly steal.
Kaiky got the determination and personality to progress well the coming years and could become one of the best central defenders in Football Manager 2022 10 to 15 years on.
Estimated Transfer Cost: €15Mill
1. Thiago Almada / 20 / Vélez
Club: Vélez Sarsfield
Position(s): AMC (AMRL/ST)
My review of the best South American talents should initially include only player’s that’s playing in the South American Continent but I wanted to make an exception for Argentinain wonderkid Thiago Almada. In reality, news reports claims that the player has agreed a transfer with MLS club Atlanta United to take place in the winter transfer window for a reported fee of £16Mill. While the transfer is yet to be confirmed, I think time is running out for us Football Manager fans to sign the player on a relative cheap deal.
My FAVORITE wonderkid possesses sublime technique, flair and vision and got brilliant close control and agility to come out of the tightest space with the ball glued to his feet. A suitable Inside Forward who can surprise the opposing goalkeeper with long shots from the edge makes him a great attacking threat – regardless of whether he makes through balls and runs, or places shots at the back of the net (recommended to learn the trait).
His versatility, acceleration, off the ball and composure can make him an ideal candidate for the False 9 role, or as a Raumdeuter, if you fancy to try the role out for your next FM22 tactic.
This season, Thiago Almada has scored 4 goals and recorded 4 assists at 20 appearances in the Liga Profesional. The Buenos Aires born wonderkid is now called up for the Argentinian national team, together with Julian Alvarez (21, River Plate/Man City), Cristian Medina (19, Boca Juniors), Exequiel Zeballos (19, Boca Juniors) and Matias Soulé (18, Juventus), something that signals a generational change in Argentina.
Estimated Transfer Cost: €6-10Mill
- José Manuel López – 06.12.2000 – ST – Lanús
- Vinicius Tobias – 23.02.2004 – D/WBR – Internacional (Joining Shakhtar 01.03.2022)
- Nicolas Siri – 17.04.2004 – ST – M.C. Torque
- Benjamín Rodríguez – 31.01.2003 – AMRL – Defensor Sporting (Available on Approach to Sign 29.11.2021)
- Bastián Yáñez – 27.06.2001 – AML – Unión Española
NB! Transfer values and a player’s estimated transfer cost can change from save to save and quite frequently in Football Manager 2022. It all depends on the time left of his current contract, how valued he is by the club’s board and agent, and his current abilities and reputation.
Please take my estimated transfer cost with a pinch of salt, as I have only described the cost and value in my current save.