Talented youngsters from footballing nations are prone to substantial hype and often this helps players grow into phenomenal superstars. 

Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and recently Neymar have showed excellent ability in dealing with the pressures whilst going on to be world superstars. 

The future of England currently rests on the youthful shoulders of Arsenal duo Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. They will look to replicate world greats and study the careers of Jermaine Pennant and Francis Jeffers to ensure they don't suffer the same fate.

However, there are many players who had the uncompromising weight of pressure on their shoulders and failed to replicate youth level form at higher levels. 


Representing the mighty Brazil, two players stand out for being notable flops of recent times.

Before YouTube was airing the mesmerising ability of Neymar, a different Brazilian boy-wonder was baffling players and fans alike - he was called Kerlon. 

In the early days of YouTube, 2005, a video of Kerlon’s dribbling skills surfaced, to mass attention.

He didn’t seem to be a one trick wonder and set the South American Under-17 Football Championship alight.

Kerlon was voted the best player and was the competitions top goal scorer, en route to winning the championship. He starred with his fellow compatriot and fellow ‘failed wonder-kid’ Anderson as the pair notched an impressive 13 goals between them. 

The duo were predicted to take the world by storm and Anderson won the prestigious ‘Golden-Boy’ award, which highlights the best young player in Europe. He also won the Golden Ball at the Under-17 World Cup, making him the stand out player out of a crop of talent. 

His trophy cabinet may be filled with Premier League medals and even a Champions League medal, but he hasn’t lived up to his £20,000,000 price tag. 

With both players now 25-years-old, Anderson is rumoured to be on the way out of United, having not featured for Brazil since 2008 and Kerlon, after a string of injuries, has seemingly given up his European dream but has successfully set the J-League on fire.


Once tipped to be the future stars of English football, Arsenal spent £2 million to take Jermaine Pennant from Notts County at 15 years of age. 

So much hype surrounded Pennant when he was young, but he never lived up to the huge expectation on his shoulders. 

Having only played 12 League games in nine years between 1999 and 2005, he joined Birmingham and his promising talent never reached predicted levels. 

He is now 27-years-old and at Stoke, Pennant is attempting to salvage something. He remains the only Englishman to play in the Champions League Final - for Liverpool in 2007 - and not have an England cap. 

Much like they did with Pennant, Arsenal splashed the cash in 2001 when they purchased the ‘fox in the box’ Francis Jeffers for a cool £8 million. 

He is currently England’s joint top goal scorer at Under-21 level, an honour he shares with the legend Alan Shearer. However, that’s all he shared with Shearer and a number of injuries ruined his promising career which has ended with him playing for Accrington Stanley. 


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