Football

Top five: Wasted talents

Kaka has struggled for first-team football at Real Madrid (©GettyImages)
Kaka has struggled for first-team football at Real Madrid (©GettyImages).

Many players have shown great potential throughout their career, however some stars have unfortunately wasted their careers (or careers so far) and may only be able to imagine what might have been. 

Here, we look at the top five wasted talents: 

5. Nani – Manchester United

The Portugal international is Manchester United’s best winger by a long way. He is more skilful and capable than Ashley Young and Luis Antonio Valencia, but can be inconsistent. 

On his day, he is potentially United’s most dangerous player and can offer much more of a threat to the opposition than his competition in the club. Though Nani has been often criticised for diving, but so have the other two. 

His wicked turn of pace, on ball trickery and lethal shots from range make him a much more viable candidate than Young or Valencia.

4. Javier Saviola – Malaga

Unlike the others on this list, Saviola has had more of a wasted career than being a wasted talent at one club. When the Argentine striker started off at River Plate, he was meant to take the world by storm when he got his potentially career defining move to Spanish giants FC Barcelona, where he managed 49 goals in 123 games. 

Not a bad total, but wasn’t close to what was expected off him. Loans to Monaco and Sevilla followed, where he struggled to make much of an impact, before he made a sensational move to Real Madrid, where he also failed to shine. After his stint in the Spanish capital, he had a positive spell at SL Benfica, before his latest move to Malaga.

After a career of moving and failing to shine on the big stage, the football world was left wondering what might have been.

3. Ricardo Quaresma – Al Ahli Dubai

As a young player Ricardo Quaresma was a sensation, with incredible skill, pace and virtually inventing the ‘Trivella’ shot. After coming through the Sporting Lisbon ranks, where he was noticed by FC Barcelona, and signed for the Catalan giants.

In 2004 he then moved to FC Porto as part of the deal that bought Deco to Cataluña. It was at Porto where he came to prominence and was considered to be one of the best wingers in the world. Four years later a move to Inter materialised, and it is a move that he would be left to regret for the rest of his life. 

As he couldn’t take the quality of the defence in Italy and then went on loan to Chelsea, where he was little more use. He then moved to Turkey with Besiktas, where some flashes of brilliance suggested that he may be on his way back to form, but it was just a phase, and he was then shipped off to Dubai, a league that usually accommodates for Players well into their 30’s, not a 29-year-old international. Ultimately, Quaresma’s career was wasted and another gift for football was sadly taken away.

2. David Villa – FC Barcelona

David Villa is one of world football’s stellar names; famous for staying at Valencia for so long, before financial difficulties at Los Che seen him sacrificed. 

He is also Spain’s record goal scorer and an incredibly talented individual. Though at Barcelona, he has been something of a bench warmer. It is a disgrace to see someone that would stroll into most of Europe’s elite teams starting XI. 

Although Alexis Sanchez and Pedro are also two of the best wingers in world football, they are still a class below the legendary Spaniard.

1. Kaka – Real Madrid

The best player of his generation by a long way, Kaka won the Ballon D’or in 2007, and while he was at the peak of his powers, he was a better player than Lionel Messi is now. His most famous performance came in AC Milan’s 3-0 destruction of Manchester United in the run to the 2007 Champions League final, where he inspired Milan the whole way to lifting the trophy, finishing as top scorer with 10 goals. 

Now at Real Madrid, Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric are ahead of him in the squad, although their quality is obvious, Kaka has always been a cut ahead of the two, and at 31, he still is.

 

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