From Lionel Messi to Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe: 6 footballers who clubs rejected during their youth
First Published Nov 25, 2020, 2:14 PM IST
A number of top footballers in today's date have made a name for themselves, playing at a particular club, thanks to previously being rejected by their former and youth club. Although the rejection could have come for various reasons, it certainly did happen for good.
Footballers have a unique tendency to rise to their prime at a particular club, which earns them the name and fame. Also, it does not necessarily have to be their first-ever club.
While most of the talented footballers begin their career at a small-scale club, before moving on to the big ones, the question arises as to why they don't stick to their childhood club. Well, it could be for numerous reasons, as on the same note, we take a look at some of the top footballers who were rejected or let go by clubs during their youth.
Antoine Griezmann: The prolific French striker is having a great time in Spain, having made a name for himself at Atletico Madrid, and is now dominating in Barcelona. Nonetheless, he began his career with UF Macon in France, while he also underwent trial for Lyon, before being rejected for his stature and sparse frame. Nonetheless, it was Real Sociedad who rewarded him before moving to Atletico.
Kylian Mbappe: The French forward is in a glorious form at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). However, he could have been roped in by Chelsea, as early as 2012. Although he passed the opening trial, his mother was upset after the club requested for a second trial. By then, he had already impressed Monaco, where he finally decided to join, before moving to PSG in 2018.
Mario Balotelli: The Italian forward is a familiar name, having played for numerous top clubs, like Inter Milan, Manchester City and Liverpool. While he was 16 years old, playing for Serie C club Lumezzane, he underwent a trial at Barcelona. Although the club's youth head Jose Ramon Alexanko was impressed, his agent demanded abnormal money, leading to a failed move.
Harry Kane: The English striker is a serious talent, who is enjoying his reign at Tottenham Hotspur. However, it was when he was eight years old, Arsenal's former academy director Liam Brady had turned down the chance to sign him, terming him "a bit chubby and not athletic". Well, look at how he is now.
Ronaldo: The Brazilian legend, too, made a name for himself playing for numerous top clubs. However, before he began his senior career with Cruzeiro, he underwent a trial with then Brazilian giants, Flamengo. As per Washington Post, he was asked to appear for a second trial. Unfortunately, he did not have enough bus fare to make it to the trial, thereby ending his dreams.
Lionel Messi: No, don't be surprised by this. While we all know who Messi is right now, it was during his youth days, when he began his career with Argentina's Newell's Old Boys. Later, he was scouted by Argentine giants, River Plate, who were impressed by him, but could not match his demand of $1,000 per month for growth hormones. Consequently, Barca stepped in, as their then sporting director, Carlos Rexach, wasted no time in having him.