When it comes to football, there are few things sadder than wasted talent.
Some young footballers have the world at their feet but, for whatever reason, fail to fulfil their immense potential.
Ravel Morrison is, unfortunately, one of these former starlets. Six, seven years ago, he appeared to be destined for greatness. Now, very few football fans could even tell you where he’s currently plying his trade.
The answer is Club Atlas in the Mexican top flight. Now 24, Morrison is on loan from Lazio, with whom he made just a handful of first-team appearances after leaving West Ham under a cloud in 2015.
Manchester United fans have all heard the stories about what an extraordinary talent Morrison was during his teenage years. Some of them witnessed the attacking midfielder showcase his magic up close for the club’s youth teams between 2009 and 2012.
However, off-field distractions ultimately cost Morrison a career at United - and things have gone downhill rapidly since then.
Rio: What Fergie told me about Morrison during training
Rio Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport on Saturday, revealed what Sir Alex Ferguson once said to him and Wayne Rooney about Morrison during a training session - and it’s quite remarkable looking back at it, considering how his career has panned out since.
“Probably the most naturally gifted young kid I’ve ever seen,” Ferdinand said of Morrison. “Sir Alex Ferguson pulled me and Wazza over one day and said, 'look, this kid is better than you when you were a kid Wayne, better than you Rio, better than Ryan Giggs'. ‘This is the best kid you'll ever see’.”
Incredible. Considering how good Rooney and Giggs were as kids, that’s an extraordinary statement from Fergie.
Ferdinand: Morrison was a genius
“He used to take liberties with players during training - even in the first team,” Ferdinand continued. “He came over as a 16-year-old and used to take liberties: play one-touch, could play two-touch, could weave his way through a team of players.”
Asked why he failed to fulfil his potential, Ferdinand added: “The concentration levels that you need to be a top, top player - to be on it every day. He could never get that all married together.
“The team he played in, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba, Adnan Januzaj, they looked at this guy like he was a superhero because he was that good.”
Video: Ferdinand talks about Morrison
Watch Ferdinand on Morrison here…
Morrison is rebuilding his career in Mexico
Let’s hope that Morrison can somehow get his career back on track.
Judging by his last two tweets, he’s concentrating on his football over in Mexico, so you never know - he might end up surprising us all.
Here’s a free-kick he scored last week…
And here’s another goal he scored from earlier this weekend…
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