There are innumerous examples of small time football players who made it big, who made it to the limelight with some emphatic turnarounds in their careers. We look at them will great respect and appreciate their decision making and desire to be the best. Luis Nani lived in severe poverty, chose Sporting and became what he is today. Marek Hamsik, Giorgio Chiellini, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Marko Reus are some similar examples of decent players who realized their talents and went to bigger clubs in the course of their career.
But there are many players who did the exact opposite. Raw talent is not endowed to all, and raw talent isn’t everything. It is the application of the talent that makes a big player. There are many players who were tipped to be future legends, but today they exist in shadows, sometimes at clubs that we didn’t even know the name of. It may be a matter of pathetic decision making or handling of the player but, there are many young players who moved to unknown clubs in lower divisions. Those were the same players who were the ‘next big things’. Here is a list of such players…
When he moved to Liverpool from PSG, it was tipped that he can be the next Thierry Henry. N’gog started his career at Liverpool well and produced some promising performances. With Andy Caroll and Luiz Suarez coming in, his first team opportunities shortened and he chose Bolton as his next club. Poor performances led him to Swansea City and now he is at Stade De Reims- a lowly French Club. He is just 25!
Another Liverpool player on the list. A player of Ajax’s famed youth setup; he was tipped to be a fine player. Moved to Liverpool to make it big but, limited first team opportunities made him force his way to Hoffenhiem where he wasn’t happy at all. He now plays at the Turkish club FC Kisimpasa as an impact substitute! He is 28.
He had the class of Gareth Bale that Tottenham were looking for. The Hotspurs purchased him from Crystal Place when he was just 15. All the top clubs wanted him, but Tottenham got lucky. Blessed with the attributes of bemusing dribbling skills and speed, he was destined to be a future England main man. But his club didn’t show the faith that the young talent demanded. Innumerous loan spells at lowly leagues frustrated him and he started to look for stability. He is now playing at Oud-Heverlee Leuven, a Belgian club. He has time on his side to make it big again though. He is just 23!
The Dutch winger with electric pace made it to the biggest club of all- Real Madrid- after eye popping performances at Feyenoord. His first two seasons at Madrid were excellent. He was often shifted to left back and Madridistas believed that their Roberto Carlos is back! But later on, with good performances by Marcelo, his first team chances started decreasing. He moved to Russia, which many believe was the career changing decision of his life. He never came back to his best. He moved to England and now he is at the lowly Turkish side Kayseri Erciyesspor. He is only 27.
Pace, agility, touch of class, technique, control, dribbling skills… you name it, he has it. Giovinco was Juventus’s dynamism. Though small in stature, he has tremendous impact on the game. Though injuries ruined his international career and also hampered the stardom he arguably deserved, he still went on to be a good player to have in your squad. With superb impactful performances for Juventus, he was quite settled at the Turin club. But, he made a decision that may hamper his career for a long time now. He moved to Toronto FC for a staggering salary of $7 million. Money lured him to play in the MLS. This will surely take him out of the picture when Italy will need a good dribbler. He is 28!