World football governing body FIFA on Friday nominated Germany’s Thomas Mueller, Andre Ayew of Ghana and Giovani Dos Santos of Mexico for the 2010 World Cup’s Best Young Player award.

Jomo Sono, a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), said at a press briefing that the three had distinguished themselves at the tournament.

“The future of the game is the youth. Teams like Ghana, Germany, Mexico and Uruguay have shown at this World Cup that they are already working toward the 2014 World Cup,” Sono said.

“The players were chosen for their efficiency on the pitch, positive attitude for fair play, tactical maturity and being role models,” added another TSG member, Christian Karembeu.

Players have to be born after January 1, 1989 to be eligible for the award.

A fringe player at Bayern Munich just two seasons ago, the 20-year-old Mueller — who has four goals and three assists — is among the leading scorers at the World Cup after making his full international debut earlier this year.

Giovani Dos Santos, 21, has shown great promise since his days with his country’s Under-17 team and underscored that at South Africa 2010 as Mexico reached the last eight of the tournament.

Ayew, son of the legendary Abedi Pele, was instrumental in Ghana becoming only the third African team to reach the last eight of the World Cup. He captained Ghana to win the FIFA Under-20 World Cup last year and at this World Cup recorded a successful pass rate of 85 per cent.

Lukas Podolski of Germany was the winner of the inaugural award four years ago. This year’s winner will be announced after Sunday’s final at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

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