A surprising amount of the world's footballer players have had brief and unsuccessful spells at some of top clubs.

Usually down to their young age, their time at some of those clubs was low-profile as, quite frankly, not many knew about them or cared who they were.

Here are some of the world's best players who played in teams you never knew.

Gerard Pique
A regular starter in arguably the best team in the world. However, he did play for Manchester United once upon a time. He was a fringe player who featured occasionally in the starting line-up and in a rotational system.

He was purchased by Barcelona for a mere £5 million, which proved a bargain and left United distraught as they watched their young talent blossom in Spain.

However, he didn't make a direct swap there, he spent some time at Real Zaragoza on loan. He finalised his departure from Old Trafford as recently as 2008.

Sergio Ramos & Dani Alves
They have both been involved in a number of 'El Clasicos' and are confidently and securely in Real Madrid and Barcelona squad respectively. However, they both used to play side by side in the back-line at Spanish club Sevilla.

Kevin Prince Boateng
Prince Boateng is also a player who has been round the block a few times, having played for Hertha Berlin, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and Portsmouth before arriving at AC Milan.

He also played for Germany U15 through to Germany U21 before deciding to play for Ghana. 

Eljero Elia
Currently plays for Werder Bremen and used to play for Dutch team FC Twente.

However, he made a quick pit stop at Italian giants Juventus. He made four abysmal appearances and rapidly handed in a transfer request.

His subsequent spell at Werder Bremen has only seen him fielded on 24 occasions and has yet to see him celebrate a goal.

Gianluigi Buffon
Juventus legend. He is widely considered one of the greatest keepers of all time and has 357 Juventus appearances under his belt. However, he spent a lengthy six years (1995-2001) at Italian club Parma, totalling a final number of 159 appearances for them.

He then moved to Juventus in 2001 for a world record fee for a goalkeeper.


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