World Soccer’s Most Exciting Young Players In 2007 - Where Are They Now?
Back in 2007, World Soccer magazine released a list of their top 10 most exciting youth players and as you can imagine, not every one of these 'hot prospects' made it to the big time.
Almost 10 years on, the publication managed to predict the dominance of Gareth Bale and Sergio Aguero but many of the players mentioned in this list never quite managed to live up to 'expectations'
Here is the list:
#1 - Sadick Adams (Striker, Atletico Madrid/Ghana)
Adams produced a number of scintillating performances at the U17 World Cup but his development stalled after his big move to Atletico Madrid, where he couldn't get out of the B team.
The number one in this list currently plays as a striker for Asante Kotoko S.C in the Ghana Premier League.
#2 - Ismail Aissati (Attacking Midfielder, PSV/Holland)
Aissati made a name for himself in the PSV first team at a young age but was eventually sold to fierce rivals Ajax after contract disputes. He left Holland in 2012 for Turkish side Antalyaspor before joining Russian side Terek Grozny in the summer of 2013.
He now plays for Super Lig side Alanyaspor.
#3 - Alexandre Pato (Striker, AC Milan/Brazil)
Once touted as one of the hottest prospects in football, Alexandre Pato's well publicised career has gone downhill because of a number of reasons, mainly injuries.
Corinthians confirmed the transfer of Alexandre Pato to La Liga side Villarreal in July, 2016, but a year later, he joined Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian F.C. where he has scored 15 goals in 24 games.
#4 - Anderson (Attacking Midfielder, Manchester United/Brazil)
Anderson's big money move to Manchester United back in 2007 meant that plenty of expectation was placed on the 19-year-old's shoulders.
After a loan spell at Fiorentina, Anderson now plays his football for Internacional in his homeland Brazil, but is currently on loan at Brazilian side Coritiba.
#5 - Giovani dos Santos (Attacking Midfielder, Barcelona/Mexico)
Many at Barcelona spoke of dos Santos as the heir to Ronaldinho's throne but after a reported £6 million move to Tottenham Hotspur, his career went slowly downhill, with loan spells at Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander.
However, Dos Santos enjoyed his most prolific spell with Villarreal, making 58 appearances and scoring 12 times. He is now playing at MLS side LA Galaxy.
#6 - Gareth Bale (Full Back, Tottenham/Wales)
People forget Gareth Bale actually struggled when he first joined Tottenham. Many believed Spurs had overpaid for Bale but the Welsh international has developed into one of the world's best.
That hat trick against Inter in the Champions League helped. Sorry, Maicon.
He currently plays for Real Madrid in La Liga and has made over 100 appearances for the club, scoring 56 goals.
#7 - Sergio Aguero (Striker, Atletico Madrid/Argentina)
Another player who has arguably exceeded expectation. Aguero was in the process of establishing himself as a regular at Atletico in 2007 and three years later, he left Atletico Madrid for Manchester City for £38 million.
He is now forging a legendary status at the Etihad.
#8 - Bojan Krkic (Striker, Barcelona/Spain)
Bojan became the youngest Barca player to ever play in La Liga back in 2007, so it's no surprise that his name crops up on this list. He continued to play regularly for Barcelona and by the age of 20, Bojan had already racked up over 100 appearances for the Catalan giants.
Despite this, he fell out of favour at the Nou Camp and joined Roma in 2011. He then failed to make an impact in a loan spell at AC Milan and moved swiftly onto Ajax in 2013.
He now plays for Premier League side Stoke City, but is on loan at Spanish side Deportivo Alavés.
#9 - Breno (Defender, Sao Paulo/Brazil)
Bayern Munich signed highly-rated defender Breno back in January 2008 after It was reported that Breno turned down Real Madrid because they wanted a bone sample to see if he was indeed 18 years old.
After several loan spells, It didn't work out for the Brazilian defender. and in September 2011, he was arrested on suspicion of arson after hie rented apartment burned down. He was charged in April 2012 and sentenced to three years and nine months in jail in July 2012
What could have been...
#10 - Gerardo Bruna (Attacking Midfielder, Liverpool/Argentina)
Bruna failed to make the grade at Liverpool after signing from the Real Madrid academy. After his failed spell with the Reds, he moved to Blackpool in 2011. He played just four games in two years at Bloomfield Road.
He now plays his football at Ottawa Fury in the North American Soccer League after spells at Accrington Stanley and Tranmere Rovers.
How the mighty have fallen.
H/T: World Soccer