What Happened To The Players Who Were Predicted To Be The World's Best Nine Years Ago
Back in 2012 Bleacher Report named the players they felt would be the top 10 in the world come 2020, and two of them made the FIFA Best Men's Player top 10 list.
It's tough enough to predict what's going to happen week to week in football, especially right now, so trying to work out the best players in the world eight years in advance takes some doing.
Back in 2012 that's exactly what Bleacher Report attempted for 2020. Predictably they got some completely wrong, but they didn't do too badly with other calls.
10. Mamadou Sakho
9. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
8. Mario Balotelli
7. Jack Wilshere
6. Lucas Moura
5. Christian Eriksen
4. Thiago Alcantara
3. Eden Hazard
2. Mario Gotze
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Let's start by focusing on the positives shall we. Both Thiago Alcantara and Neymar finished 2020 in the top 10 in FIFA's The Best Men's Player list.
The Liverpool midfielder won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble with Bayern Munich before moving to the Premier League in the summer.
He is considered one of the best midfielders in the world right now and finished seventh in the FIFA award. Back in 2012 he was at Barcelona, and a first team player aged just 21.
Neymar wasn't even at the Nou Camp when he was predicted to be the best in the world, in fact he was yet to even shine on the world stage at the 2012 Olympics, later that summer.
The Brazil forward was still at Santos at the time and had scored 86 goals from 161 games to really pump up the hype train, with the eyes of Europe watching.
In 2020 he helped PSG to yet another league title, even though the season was cut short, whilst the side reached the Champions League final for the first time.
Most of the players on the list had at least a period of being excellent throughout the eight years from 2012 to 2020 but come the year they were supposed to be in the top 10 in the world.
Sakho, Balotelli and Wilshere certainly weren't at the top of their game last year, with the Crystal Palace defender having the best year of the trio, at least Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can use injury as an excuse and he still won a league tile.
For Balotelli and Wilshere it was a year when both were released from their clubs after failing to play much football at all.
The Italian striker managed to get a new team in the shape of Serie B side Monza, Wilshere is yet to find a new club after leaving West Ham.
Who is your pick for the world's best player in 2029?
Featured Image Credit: PA
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