Some football players are in the public eye even before they have made anything on the field. They are looked upon as the next Pele, and Maradona, before they even start playing regularly. Their star burns brightest at the start of their career, but fades rather quickly when there is time to prove their worth among the better ones. I will show you the story of the most overrated football player in the world
Its unbelievable how many young players are called “the new” this or that, because they are a bit better than the rest of their team mates. The hype surrounding this young players is unbelievable, and its quite a wonder that anyone manages to surpass that hype, and become someone special in the world of football.
I remember that kind of hype in 2004, when there was a talk about a 14-year old kid. He was proclaimed the best talent ever in the world of football. I mean he started to play with the first team at 14 years of age. This kids name was Freddy Adu.
Martin Odegaard is basically a late bloomer against Freddy Adu, who’s hype went so far as to having photo sessions with Pele, and given a sponsorship contract worth 1 million dollars with Nike. While American football world saw him as the football player that will transform Major League Soccer.
Freddy Adu was playing at DC United at the time, and quite expectedly didn’t focus on football much after that period. I think that the biggest achievement after that point was dating a pop star called JoJo. Nevertheless, Freddy Adu’s time at DC United was by far the most productive in his football career. He managed to stay at DC United for 2 years, which was very long considering his stay at some other clubs later in his career.
After DC United, he started playing for Real Salt Lake, where he stayed like half a season, because of impressive World Cup U-20 tournament. He was signed by Benfica. At this point his, football career went anywhere but up. Benfica quickly found out that he wasn’t on par with other players and some loans followed. He went to Monaco in France, than Belenenses in Portugal, than Aris in Greece, and Rizespor in Turkey. Save to say that he didn’t impress in any of his clubs.
After the failed attempts in Europe, he went back to the USA, with Philadelphia Union. This was the first club after DC United where he at least managed to play regularly, for a season at least. After his time at Philadelphia, he went to Brazil, or to be more precise Bahia. Freddy Adu only managed to get 2 games under his belt at Bahia, so he quite Brazil and went to Jagodina in Serbia. His time at Jagodina was even worse, because he didn’t play any games for the club. He quitted Jagodina and Serbia, and has recently signed for KuPS in Finland.
Its hard to count how many wrong turns did Freddy Adu make in his football career. Some still dispute his age saying that he is much older, and that he wasn’t any talent in the first place. I believe that the hype destroyed him. If you look at Messi and Ronaldo, they didn’t have any hype over them when they were 14 years old. Funny enough, none of them was anything that special at that age. This proves the point that a good start doesn’t mean a good finish.
Freddy Adu is now 25 years old, and is in the fringes of football world. He admitted that the fame simply didn’t help his career. His story is basically a cautionary tale, but I just don’t know how could he avoided it. I see this happen with famous child actors, because the fame comes to quick, and they lose the focus.
I highly doubt that Freddy Adu career in football will somehow explode. Comparing to him, Nicklas Bendtner is truly the greatest striker that ever lived. Some reports say that, Freddy Adu is simply a below average professional football player now, which means that he will never reach the heights he was hyped to, or even becoming a decent football player.
The thing that Freddy Adu’s case proves is that talent is nothing, while hard work is everything. Whoever forgets that is doomed to similar fate to that of Freddy Adu. We will see if similar fate is awaiting Martin Odegaard who, in a way, has even more difficult job than Adu, and that is impressing at Real Madrid.