Football: Five to light up the summer

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The Independent Online
Alessandro Del Piero

(Italy)

The new star of Italian football. An injury to Roberto Baggio allowed him into the Juventus side last season and he played so well that Baggio has now moved to Milan. Has maintained last season's promise in the Champions' League where he has a knack of scoring outstanding goals from the left flank. However, Juventus almost sold him to Parma 18 months ago - only pulling out of the deal when Dino Baggio agreed to move instead. Currently fitting army service around his football. Was 21 earlier this month.

Rui Costa

(Portugal)

A playmaking midfielder and one of the main reasons why Gabriel Batistuta scored a club-record 26 goals for Fiorentina last season. Just 22 when he was transferred 18 months ago from Benfica to the Italian club for pounds 5m. Former member of Portugal's World Youth Cup champions. A busy playmaker who likes to get in the "hole" he has been compared to Fiorentina's favourite No 10 Giancarlo Antognoni - even by Antognoni himself. Now 23, he is slowly adding goalscoring to his talents. Quiet off the pitch, mature and committed on it.

Davor Suker

(Croatia)

While Zvonimir Boban provides the chances, Suker scores the goals. He has scored 16 times in 14 internationals - the best current record in Europe. At 27 he has come late to prominence despite leaving the then- Yugoslavia for Seville four years ago. Now courted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe - and would probably have joined one of them had the Spanish FA carried out their summer threat to relegate Seville for financial

irregularities.

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