Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Falling from Grace - Players that Didn't quite live up to their Hype.

This feature picks out players that haven't quite delivered on the initialpromise that surrounded them when there first appeared on the football scene.

The following were dubbed as the 'next big thing' in football onnumerous occasions, some delivered more promise than others, but (in mynon-expert opinion) all fell victim to the hype that surrounded them - ahype they couldn't quite match in actions

Cherno Samba
A trainee at Millwall in the early noughties, Cherno Samba was regarded as the brightest striking talent England had unearthed in decades.
Samba was famously touted out by the Guardian newspaper as "the player to spearhead the England's assault on the 2006 World Cup".

However, when the finals arrived in Germany in 2006 the name Cherno Samba was not even remotely close to making the list of 23 England players heading out for the finals.

Samba's most notable career achievements to date were in Spain with Cadiz FC - who he joined from Millwall - and Malaga, where he scored 18 times in just under forty appearances for both sides.

Samba returned to England after three years in Spain with Plymouth Argyle and Wreham, before leaving for Swedish club FC Haka, where he registered only a solitary goal between the three clubs in 20 appearances.

Once dubbed as a player to spearhead England to greatness, these days a twenty-six-year-old Cherno Samba is plying his trade in Greece with Second Division club Panetolikos.

Freddy Adu
United States of America
At aged 14, American Freddy Adu's debut for DC United in a competitive MLS match created a lot of noise across the pond and the footballing world took notice of the United States golden boy from thereon.

After some success on a personal and collective level in the States, Adu moved to Benfica in what looked to be an attractive move for the teenage prodigy. However, failed trials at Manchester United and unsuccessful loan spells at Monaco, Beleneneses and Aris have seen Adu parted from his parent club far more than the American has been embraced.

Once billed as a rising star in not only American, but World football, Adu has failed to establish himself in Europe and has had to endure routine exile from the club that own his registration.

Ricardo Quaresma
Listing clubs such as Inter Milan, Porto and Chelsea on your resume, perhaps Quaresma could be excused from making a list such as this.

However, former Barcelona trainee Quaresma was destined to become one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in this business. With the pace and trickery of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, Quaresma never delivered on his obvious potential, but signs were certainly evident of an ability to be on par if not greater than the Real Madrid hitman.

Jose Mourinho insisted that during Quaresma's time at Inter Milan, he would would play a big part in the club's success. He didn't. Instead Quaresma was loaned Chelsea and once again he failed to produce the kind of menace that various youtube clips back up in abundance.

Quaresma has since found his level, in Turkey with Besiktas. Although a fair level in football ferms it's a level that few would have predicted Ricardo Quaresma - the trickster - would be playing at during what is supposedly the peak of his career.

Evandro Roncatto
Very few will have actually heard of Brazilian Evandro Roncatto and it is strange to think that a player that once marginally missed out to Cesc Fabregas for the Player of the Tournament honour in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships in 2003 has failed to become a recognised figure in football.

The Ermis Aradippou (Greece) striker started his career in 2003 in his native Brazil with Guarani before moving to Sport Recife in 2006.

In 2007 Roncatto moved to Europe with Portuguese side Beleneneses, but never really found goalscoring form, netting only four times in over fifty appearances.

He stayed in Portugal and in 2009, the former Brazil Under-17 prodigy signed for Pacos de Ferriera where he made just seven appearances without returning a single goal.

Now, a twenty four year old Roncatto plays his football with Ermis Aradippou in Greece whereas the payer who pipped him to the FIFA Silver Ball trophy back in 2003 plys his trade with Arsenal and is being routinely hinted by Spanish giants Barcelona.

Javier Saviola
Like Quaresma above, it may be a little harsh to list a player who has played for Spanish giants Barcelona, Real Madrid in the past and who currently plays for a Benfica side that regularly feature in the latter stages of the Europa League competition.

However, at River Plate in the late nineties Saviola was regarded by many football experts as one of the most cunning and talented finishers in the game.

Nicknamed 'The Rabbit', Saviola scored 45 goals in 86 appearances for River Plate before moving to Spanish giants Barcelona for £15 million in 2001, aged 19.

After initially impressing in Spain, Saviola's form declined and in between 2004-2006 the Argentinian was loaned out to Monaco and Sevilla to reclaim match sharpness.

In 2007, having fallen out of favour at Camp Nou, Saviola moved to Real Madrid. Once again, Saviola failed to replicate the scoring form he had shown in Argentina with River Plate and during his first season at Barcelona, so after two seasons in Madrid the Argentinian moved on once more.

Portuguese club Benfica signed Saviola from Real Madrid and gave the misfiring striker the chance to flourish in Portugal's top flight.

PC game football manager certain held the Argentinian in high esteem. At 17 years of age Saviola was a goal machine for any football simulator fanatic, but in contrast his real life scoring achievements are a world away from the expectation set in simulation.

No more than a year or two ago the Brazilian Kerlon was the most talked about prospect in South America and one of the most sought after teenagers in football.

In 2005 Kerlon was top scorer and named best player at the 2005 South America Under-17 Football Championship.

He moved briefly to Chievo before signing for Inter Milan. Soon after arriving at Inter the man known for the 'Seal Dribble' was subsequently loaned to Ajax where he failed to make an appearance due to injury.

Despite being riddled by injuries over the past 18 months, Kerlon - still only 23 - has failed to deliver on the hype that has surrounded him as a prospering youngster at Cruziero in Brazil.

Prior to the 1998 World Cup a Brazilian by the name Denilson looked to take the tournament by storm, having just signed for Spanish club Real Betis who invested a record £21 million in a player who was to become known as a one-trick pony for the remainder of his career.

In 1998, thanks to Denilson, the step-over technique became a popular showboating trick and prompted a pandemic of skilled and unskilled footballers to weave their feet rapidly over a football without touching it.

Denilson stayed with Betis for sometime before going on a tour of the football compass where the the Brazilian seldom found top gear.

When he first appeared in the yellow and green of Brazil, Denilson looked mesmeric but after a while his trademark showpiece became predictable and it turned out he didn't have many other genuine qualities.

.... I could continue, but I won't. Add in any glaring oversights by leaving a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. That is how it is sometimes, but farewell precious players