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Where are the 10 wonderkids Lionel Messi tipped for stardom in 2016?

Where are the 10 wonderkids Lionel Messi tipped for stardom in 2016?

Lionel Messi picked out 10 youngsters for stardom back in 2016

Back in 2016, Lionel Messi detailed the ten wonderkids who he truly believed would dominate both men’s and women’s football in the years to come.

Of course, the Argentinian will go down in history as one of the stand-out players of his generation, as well as possessing one of the greatest footballing minds.

But seven years ago, the Inter Miami player tried his hand at predicting the future of football by naming ten players who he thought would make it big.

Names such as Patrick Roberts, Nadazdha Karpova and Davide Calabria were hand-picked by Lionel Messi - and we’re looking back at whether these ten players have lived up to the hype.

Gabriel Boschilia

Brazilian baller Gabriel Boschilia was tipped for stardom by Messi after he had just signed a five-year contract with AS Monaco.

Between loan spells at Belgium’s Standard Liege and Ligue 1’s FC Nantes, the midfielder bagged himself 26 appearances for Monaco before transferring to Brazilian Série A side, Internacional.

After two seasons, the 27-year-old now plays for Coritiba and has yet to break into his country’s senior international squad.

Patrick Roberts

Former England youth international Patrick Roberts was included on Messi’s list as a ‘one-to-watch’.

Having just made one appearance for Manchester City in the 2015/16 season, the 26-year-old was shipped out to Celtic for 30 months.

The winger then completed a series of loan spells at clubs such as Girona, Norwich City, and Derby County.

In January 2022, the winger joined Sunderland on an initial six-month deal. After helping the northern team to gain promotion from League One last summer, he signed on for a further two years with the club.


Nadazdha Karpova

The Argentinian saw something special in female footballer Nadazdha Karpova while she was plying her trade at Chertanovo Moscow.

In 2017, she left her native Russia to play for Liga F side, Valencia before switching allegiance and playing under Paco Garcia, Sergio Jimenez, and later Cristian Toro.

Three years later, the Messi-tipped forward left the top flight of Spanish women’s football to join six-time Copa de la Reina champions RCD Espanyol Femeni.

Chanathip Songkrasin

Known more commonly as Jay, Chanathips Songkrasin was on loan with Muangthong United when he was heralded as a wonderkid.

Following a successful spell with the Thai team, the midfielder went on to play for J1 sides Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Kawasaki Frontale before returning to Thailand to sign for BG Pathum United.

At 29, Songkrasin has 60 caps for Thailand, scoring twelve goals.

Kasper Dolberg

Denmark international Kasper Dolberg is arguably the most successful player that was included in the initial 2016 prediction.

Signed to Ajax at the time, the 25-year-old left the Dutch club in 2019 to sign for Ligue 1 side, Nice.

After completing loan spells at Sevilla and Germany’s Hoffenheim, respectively, Dolberg signed for Belgian-based Anderlecht earlier this month.

The striker’s deal is due to keep him busy in the Belgian Pro League for the next four years.

At 25, the Dane has already played in a FIFA World Cup and a UEFA Euro tournament. At the latter, which took place in 2020, he scored a total of three goals.


Jean-Kevin Augustin

French youth international Jean-Kevin Augustin was tipped for stardom while he was playing for Paris Saint-Germain but left a year later for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

After a couple of seasons out on loan to AS Monaco and Leeds United, the 26-year-old striker eventually signed for Nantes on a two-year deal.

Unfortunately in the 2021/22 season, Augustin was relegated to play for Nantes B team before leaving for FC Basel on a free transfer.

Last summer, he signed a three-year deal with the Swiss side.

Alex Muyl

The Inter Miami man thought that New York-born Alex Muyl would make it big.

Selected as a wonderkid when he was playing for MLS side, the New York Red Bulls, the winger continued playing for the team right up until 2020.

On August 13, he was traded to Nashville SC in exchange for Nashville’s 2020 and 2021 international picks.

Davide Calabria

26-year-old Italian Davide Calabria has been a firm fixture of AC Milan since he began his youth career there in 2006.

Having been promoted to the senior squad in 2015, the right-back has clocked up 174 Serie A appearances for the club and netted 13 goals in all competitions.

In 2021, he signed a new deal with Rossoneri which will keep him at his childhood club until the summer of 2025.

Despite playing for Italy at under-17 to under-21 level, the defender has only made seven senior appearances for the national squad.


Kekuta Manneh

Messi believed that Kekuta Manneh could make it to the top, but the winger has spent the majority of his career playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

According to The Mirror, a plethora of Premier League clubs were once interested in Manneh — but a move never came to fruition for the 28-year-old.

In 2017, the baller left the MLS side to sign for Columbus Crew before signing with Mexican club Pachuca and Swiss team, St. Gallen

Returning to America for the 2019/20 season, Manneh signed for FC Cincinnati before completing season-long stints with New England Revolution, Austin FC, and San Antonio FC

He currently plays for the Canadian club, Pacific FC.

Nathan Allan de Souza

Simply known as ‘Nathan’, the midfielder was hailed as a wonderkid by Messi when he was signed for Chelsea.

Another character who has endured a series of loan spells, Nathan has spent time with Dutch side Vitesse, Ligue 2 team Amiens and Portugal’s Belenenses.

In 2020, the Brazilian left Chelsea to sign for Atletico Mineiro for the equivalent of a reported £2.5 million.

After three years and a stint at Brasileiro-side Fluminense, Nathan signed for Gremio earlier this year.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Lionel Messi