The Guardian named the 40 most exciting young talents in world football back in 2014

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It’s really not easy to predict the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

For every Kylian Mbappe - who seems set to fulfil his incredible potential - there’s a Freddie Adu - who was tipped for stardom and then disappeared into nothingness.

But that doesn’t stop us football fans from often discussing future Ballon d’Or winners.

But instead of naming one or two wonderkids, the Guardian took it one step further and named 40 back in 2014!

All of the players in the list were born in 1997 so, at the time of the article, were either 16 or 17.

Now, they’re either 21 or 22 and should be making a name for themselves in world football. But that’s not exactly the case…

We took a look back at the list and asked: ‘Where are they now?’

The Guardian's '40 of the best youngsters' in 2014

Guido Vadala | Club in 2014: Boca Juniors | Now plays for: Universidad de Concepcion

Daniel De Silva | Club in 2014: Perth Glory | Now plays for: Sydney FC (on loan from Central Coast Mariners)

Youri Tielemans | Club in 2014: Anderlecht | Now plays for: Leicester City

Malcom | Club in 2014: Corinthians | Now plays for: Zenit Saint Petersburg

Gerson | Club in 2014: Fluminense | Now plays for: Flamengo

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Bozhidar Kraev | Club in 2014: Levski Sofia | Now plays for: Gil Vicente (on loan from Midtjylland)

Li Zhongyi | Club in 2014: Guangzhou Evergrande | Now plays for: Zibo Cuju

Alveiro Sanchez | Club in 2014: Deportivo Cali | Now plays for: Orsomarso

Ante Coric | Club in 2014: Dinamo Zagreb | Now plays for: UD Almería (On loan from Roma)

Nikola Vlasic | Club in 2014: Hajduk Split | Now plays for: CSKA Moscow

Mikkel Duelund | Club in 2014: Midtjylland | Now plays for: Dynamo Kyiv

Germany v Denmark - 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship

Dominic Solanke | Club in 2014: Chelsea | Now plays for: Bournemouth

Ryan Ledson | Club in 2014: Everton | Now plays for: Preston North End

Ousmane Dembele | Club in 2014: Rennes | Now plays for: Barcelona

Jean-Kevin Augustin | Club in 2014: PSG | Now plays for: Monaco (on loan from RB Leipzig)

Maxime Lopez | Club in 2014: Marseille | Now plays for: Marseille

Benjamin Henrichs | Club in 2014: Bayer Leverkusen | Now plays for: Monaco

Germany v Serbia: Group B - 2019 UEFA U-21 Championship

Benedikt Gimber | Club in 2014: Hoffenheim | Now plays for: Jahn Regensburg

Lazaros Lamprou | Club in 2014: Panathinaikos | Now plays for: PAOK

Federico Bonazzoli | Club in 2014: Inter Milan | Now plays for:
Sampdoria

Daisuke Sakai | Club in 2014: Oita Trinita | Now plays for: Thespakusatsu Gunma (on loan from Oita Trinita)

Erick Aguirre | Club in 2014: Morelia | Now plays for: CF Pachuca

Abdelhak Nouri | Club in 2014: Ajax | Retired after he collapsed during a match in July 2017, suffering a cardiac arrhythmia attack, which left him with severe and permanent brain damage.

Jari Schuurman | Club in 2014: Feyenoord | Now plays for: FC Dordrecht

Sander Svendsen | Club in 2014: Molde | Now plays for: Odense Boldklub

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Dawid Kownacki | Club in 2014: Lech Poznan | Now plays for: Fortuna Düsseldorf (on loan from Sampdoria)

Ruben Neves | Club in 2014: Porto | Now plays for: Wolves

Cristian Manea | Club in 2014: FC Viitorul | Now plays for: FCSB

Timur Zhamaletdinov | Club in 2014: CSKA Moscow | Now plays for: Lech Poznan (on loan from CSKA Moscow)

Luka Jovic | Club in 2014: Red Star Belgrade | Now plays for: Real Madrid

Real Madrid CF v CA Osasuna  - La Liga

Irfan Fandi | Club in 2014: Unattached | Now plays for: BG Pathum United

Fagrie Lakay | Club in 2014: Santos | Now plays for: SuperSport United

Jung-Hyun Seo | Club in 2014: Pohang Steelers | Now plays for: Pyeongtaek Citizen

Adrian Marin | Club in 2014: Villarreal | Now plays for: Deportivo Alavés

Julen Arellano | Club in 2014: Barcelona | Now plays for: CD Tudelano

Borussia Monchengladbach II v Athletic Club U21 - Premier League International Cup

Ferran Sarsanedas | Club in 2014: Barcelona | Now plays for: Barcelona B

Erik Andersson | Club in 2014: Landskrona Bois | Now plays for: Trelleborgs FF

Enes Unal | Club in 2014: Bursaspor | Now plays for: Real Valladolid (on loan from Villarreal)

Erik Palmer-Brown | Club in 2014: Sporting Kansas City | Now plays for: Austria Wien (on loan from Manchester City)

Phan Thanh Hau | Club in 2014: Hoang Anh Gia Lai | Now plays for: Hoang Anh Gia Lai

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