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 By Tim Vickery

U-20 South American Championship a path to stardom for many

Lionel Messi announced his presence as a future star at the 2005 U-20 South American Championships in Colombia.

In the run to three finals in the last three years, the Argentina team has been carried by two outstanding players, the Barcelona pair of Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi. Both men are products of the South American Under-20 Championships. 

Mascherano appeared in the tournament 14 years ago, when it was held in Uruguay. He impressed as a gutsy central midfielder with a safe range of passing, a crunching tackle, good positional sense and the capacity to rise to the occasion, and dig...