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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?

Here are where the wonderkids are today.

Seven years ago Lionel Messi tipped 10 players for future stardom. Here is how each of their careers have fared so far.

Messi is arguably the world’s greatest-ever footballer.

However, when it comes to identifying future talent, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner leaves much to be desired.

Here are the ten players Messi tipped for stardom back in 2016.

Gabriel Boschilia

Boschilia was tipped for stardom by Messi after he signed a five-year contract with Monaco.

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

After two seasons, the 27-year-old now plys his trade at Coritiba.

Patrick Roberts

Patrick Roberts was among those included on Messi’s list as ‘one-to-watch’.

Emerging from the Fulham academy, Roberts moved to Manchester City as a teenager, where he made one appearance in the 2015/16 campaign.

The former England youth international was then shipped out to Celtic for 30 months before completing a series of loan spells at the likes of Girona, Norwich City and Derby County.

In January 2022, the winger joined Sunderland on an initial six-month deal, and after helping them gain promotion from League One, he signed on for a further two years with the club.

The 26-year-old is currently part of Tony Mowbray’s youthful Black Cats, looking to make a long-awaited Premier League return.

Roberts is now plying his trade at Sunderland (Getty)
Roberts is now plying his trade at Sunderland (Getty)

Nadazdha Karpova

Messi saw something special in Nadazdha Karpova while she was playing at Chertanovo Moscow.

In 2017, Karpova left her native Russia to play for Liga F side, Valencia, before moving to Sevilla and six-time Copa de la Reina champions RCD Espanyol Femeni.

Chanathip Songkrasin

Chanathips Songkrasin was on loan with Muangthong United when he was heralded as a wonderkid by Messi.

The midfielder went on to play for J1 sides Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo and Kawasaki Frontale before returning to his native Thailand to sign for BG Pathum United.

At 30, Songkrasin has 62 caps for Thailand, scoring twelve goals.

Kasper Dolberg

Kasper Dolberg is arguably the most successful player that was included on Messi’s shortlist.

Dolberg was leading the line for Ajax at the time, before leaving 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 this summer, where the 26-year-old has scored five goals in nine domestic encounters.

Kasper Dolberg has been in electric form at Anderlecht (Getty)
Kasper Dolberg has been in electric form at Anderlecht (Getty)

Jean-Kevin Augustin

Jean-Kevin Augustin was tipped for stardom while he was playing for Paris Saint-Germain only to leave the French giants for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in 2017.

After a couple of unsuccessful spells out on loan to AS Monaco and Leeds United, Augustin eventually signed for Nantes on a two-year deal.

The former France youth international is now at FC Basel, where he has scored twice in seven domestic encounters this season.

Alex Muyl

New York-born Alex Muyl was tipped to make it big by Lionel Messi.

Selected as a wonderkid when at the New York Red Bulls, the winger continued playing for the MLS outfit until 2020 before being traded to Nashville SC.

Davide Calabria

Davide Calabria is one of the few to have a career among Europe’s top five leagues, having been a firm fixture of AC Milan since breaking into the senior squad in 2015.

Calabria has clocked up 225 appearances for Milan and netted 13 goals in all competitions.

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 tipped Kekuta Manneh for stardom back in 2016. However, the winger has spent the bulk of his career in the MLS playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

While a series of Premier League clubs have been linked with a move for Manneh in the past, a move is yet to have come to fruition.

In 2017, Manneh left the Whitecaps to sign for Columbus Crew, before joining Mexican club Pachuca and Swiss team, St. Gallen.

He returned to the US for the 2019/20 season, signing 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

Nathan was hailed as a wonderkid by Messi upon signing for Chelsea. However, the Brazilian was dealt a series of loans with Dutch side Vitesse, Ligue 2 team Amiens and Portugal’s Belenenses.

In 2020, the Brazilian left the Blues to sign for Atletico Mineiro, before moving to Fluminense.

Nathan signed for Gremio earlier this year.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Lionel Messi