We've all seen them on the touchlines at amateur football matches - the proud parents armed with a video camera to document the travails and triumphs of their child during their early tastes of the beautiful game.
More often than not, these home videos will provide nothing more than absolute dross, and viewing them will only draw any sense of enjoyment from the participant or the filmmaker themselves.
Yet an unsuspecting cameraperson can sometimes unearth a rare gem during their attempts to follow their own child, and previously undervalued videos created eons ago can go viral when one of the participants goes on to achieve fame and fortune.
Lionel Messi is a prime example, and his talents as a child have been captured on several occasions, and watching the Barcelona maestro lay waste to defences aged under ten would crack a smile from most football supporters.
With this in mind, GMF has decided to trawl the internet's best known video websites, so you don't have you, and propose the best clips of today's stars in their formative years…
The archives are littered with clips of Lionel Messi displaying his extreme potential at a young age, but no video is more joyous to behold than when the Barcelona was aged nine in his native Argentina.
Messi clearly possessed a glorious touch and close control even when nothing more than a wee lad, and was even able to score goals frighteningly similar to those he nets today.
In this clip, the Argentine terrorises the defence with his jinking runs and, as he does now aged 24, finds the net for fun.
Few would argue with the assertion that Neymar has the ability to become the best player in the world, and Brazilian legend Pele thinks the 20-year-old is already superior to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
In terms of raw skill, Pele perhaps has a point, and this clip of Neymar is a perfect example of the Samba flair he possessed during his formative years; performing breathtaking tricks on the futsal pitch.
Blessed with the ability to embarrass defenders at will, Neymar is a born entertainer. Oh, and he scores quite a bit too.
Before Neymar there was Ronaldinho and, like his successor, the latter was the ringmaster of the futsal circus during his years as a young footballer in Brazil.
Perhaps the most gifted player of his generation, Ronaldinho had the most sublime of skills from an early age, and was clearly destined to become a star of Brazil in the future.
His talents as a child were highlighted during Nike's Joga Bonito advertising campaign and shows the toothy youngster displaying skill not dissimilar to that when he was at his ebullient best with Barcelona.
…and one for the future
Being dubbed the 'new Zidane' is not exactly a guarantee of future success - just ask Bruno Cheyrou - but few can doubt the immense potential of the youngster in the following clip.
Aged only six, he possesses the skill and control many adults could only dream of, and his progress will no doubt be tracked with extreme interest over the coming years.
If he continues this upward trajectory, then who knows what the French youngster can achieve. But, for the time being, let's just enjoy him how he is.
Are there any other videos of players wowing audiences during their formative years? Let us know in the comments section below...
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