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Cristiano Ronaldo named his top five future stars in 2015, they've had mixed fortunes

Ryan Smart

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Cristiano Ronaldo named his top five future stars in 2015, they've had mixed fortunes

Cristiano Ronaldo named five players he believed could go on to dominate world football back in 2015, but not all of them have fulfilled his prophecy.

Ronaldo is one of the greatest players in the history of football, having started out at Sporting Lisbon before rising to prominence during his first spell at Manchester United.

The 38-year-old then embarked on an on-pitch rivalry with Barcelona star Lionel Messi during his time in La Liga with Real Madrid, before spells at Juventus, a second stint at United, and Al Nassr, where he currently plays.

There was a time when Ronaldo was rated as one of football's top wonderkids, with his generation subsequently dominated by himself and Messi.

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That era is now coming to an end, with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior and Erling Haaland now beginning to take over the mantle as the top players in world football.

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In 2015, Ronaldo gave his view on who he thought could lead the way in the years to come - and while some of the names he gave he achieved significant success since then, others have been less fortunate.

Cristiano Ronaldo's top five wonderkids re-visited

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In an interview with BT Sport (via Daily Mirror), the Portuguese legend started off strongly, naming his then Real Madrid team-mate Martin Odegaard as one player he believed could shine.

Aged 16 at the time, the midfielder had joined Los Blancos from Norwegian side Stromsgodset, and was rated one of the hottest prospects in world football.

It is at Arsenal where he is beginning to fulfil that potential, becoming club captain at the beginning of last season before scoring 15 goals and assisting a further seven in the Premier League.

Arsenal star Martin Odegaard pictured (Credit: Getty)
Arsenal star Martin Odegaard pictured (Credit: Getty)
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During the interview, Ronaldo warned: "He has a good future ahead. We must give him time to learn, to take his best decisions. But I see a lot of potential in the player, he has got a good left foot."

Ronaldo then went on to name Eden Hazard, who had recently won the Premier League title with Chelsea and the league's player of the season award.

The Belgian went on to replace Ronaldo at Real, but suffered four injury-hit seasons at the Bernabeu in which he scored just seven goals in 76 appearances. He was released from his contract early this summer.

He also picked Paul Pogba, with the Juventus midfielder going on to be named in UEFA's Team of the Year at the beginning of 2016.

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After a club-record move to Manchester United, the Frenchman lifted two trophies in his first season but things eventually went downhill at Old Trafford. Now back at Juventus, he made just 10 appearances in all competitions last term due to injury.

Juventus star Paul Pogba pictured (Credit: Getty)
Juventus star Paul Pogba pictured (Credit: Getty)

His fourth pick was Memphis Depay, who took Ronaldo's old number seven shirt at United upon his arrival in the summer of 2015.

He was not successful at United, but found top form at Lyon and earned a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2021. The Dutchman now plays for Atletico Madrid.

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Finally, Ronaldo opted for then Barcelona star Neymar as one of his future footballing stars.

While hardly the most surprising pick, given the Brazilian's ascent to football stardom already by this point, it did appear as if the winger would dominate world football for years to come.

It hasn't quite worked out that way after a world record move to PSG, which was intended to finally land Neymar his first Ballon d'Or.

He is yet to add to the Champions League title he won with Barca, but almost single-handedly guided the French side to glory in 2020 before they lost to Bayern Munich in the final.

Featured Image Credit: Piers Morgan Uncensored / Getty

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Football, Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Martin Odegaard

Ryan Smart
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