As glamorous as being a professional footballer might seem, it's easy to forget how it's a cut-throat industry that can eat you alive if you're not up to scratch.
Never before has there been so much pressure on young and aspiring players to impress, with far too much talent slipping through the cracks.
For a striker, so much as missing an open goal can be the difference between making it in the Premier League or slumping into non-League football.
And for a defender, giving up possession in a dangerous position or, worse still, giving away a goal can see you labelled 'not good enough'.
First impressions are everything, which is exactly why the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are where they are today.
The trio all scored their first professional goals for Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon and Southampton respectively at the age of 17 - and the rest is history.
First goals are always a good indicator of what the future holds. Messi, for example, opened his account for Barca by lobbing the goalkeeper, whereas Ronaldo skinned three players before finding the back of the net.
Other players to have demonstrated their goalscoring ability at an early age were Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho and Neymar, as you can see in the video below.
Footage has emerged of all the above - among others - scoring their first professional goals in one amazing montage, per Skores. Check it out.
THE WORLD'S BEST SCORING THEIR FIRST
Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard and Paul Pogba all feature in the complication, too, after scoring special strikes from outside the box in their teens.
First goals can leave a lasting impression and that sentiment is evidenced by what Ronaldinho thought after assisting Messi's lob against Albacete 12 years ago.
The Brazilian said earlier this year: "When Messi scored his first goal against Albacete I gave him the assist. He's the same person he was back then. Nothing's changed.
"Messi is the best of his time, like [Diego] Maradona and others were in the past. When I saw Messi back then, I saw a monster."
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