In 2007, the 50 most exciting youngsters in the world were named - what happened to them?

Juan Mata and Angel di Maria were both included in the list

When it comes to football, it's very hard to predict the future.

So many talented youngsters have come through the ranks and looked destined for success.

However, sometimes even the most promising young players don't live up to the hype.

In 2007, World Soccer Magazine decided to rank the 50 most talented youngsters in world football.

We first looked at their list in 2016 and some of the choices looked ridiculous. 

And now, three years on, we've decided to revisit the list once again and provide an update on what has happened to the 50 players included.

50. Ever Banega | Boca Juniors

Banega made the switch to Europe with Valencia in 2008 and has since become a very good midfielder.

He is now in his second stint with Sevilla after spending time at Atletico Madrid, Newell's Old Boys and Inter Milan.

49. Gregory van der Wiel | AFC Ajax

The Dutch full-back become a regular at Ajax before joining Patis Saint-Germain in 2012.

He is currently without a club after being released by Totonto FC in March.

Gregory van der Wiel in action for Toronto

48. Theo Walcott | Arsenal

Walcott has had a good career, but he hasn't fulfilled his full potential.

He spent 13 seasons at Arsenal before leaving for Everton in 2018.

47. Carlos Vela | Arsenal

Vela never made the grade at Arsenal but he went on to enjoy success with Real Sociedad in La Liga.

He is now tearing up Major League Soccer with Los Angeles FC.

46. Abdou Razack Traore | Rosenborg BK

Traore left Rosenborg in 2010 and has spent the past six years playing in Turkey.

He currently turns out for Sivasspor, who he joined in August.

Abdou Razack Traore in action for Rosenborg

45. Ivan Rakitic | Schalke 04

One of the better shouts on the list. Rakitic has emerged into a world-class midfielder and now plays for Barcelona.

44. Marek Suchy | Slavia Prague

Suchy left for Spartak Moscow and now plays for Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

He's also the captain of Czech Republic.

43. Sergio Tejera | Chelsea

Just one of many talented Chelsea youngsters that never hit the heights that were expected of them.

Tejera has played for Mallorca, Espanyol, Alaves, Gimnastic and is currently turning out for Oviedo.

Sergio Tejera in action for Chelsea

42. Alexis Sanchez | Udinese

Another great shout. Sanchez went on to play for Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and is now back in Italy with Inter Milan.

41. Micah Richards | Manchester City

Once one of the most talented English players, injuries disrupted Richards' career and he retired after his contract ran out with Aston Villa earlier this year.

40. Henri Saivet | Bordeaux

Saivet's career has stalled somewhat since joining Newcastle in 2016. He's back at the club after spending last season on loan at Bursaspor.

Henri Saivet's career has stalled at Newcastle

39. Renato Augusto | Flamengo

Augusto failed to make his mark in European football with Leverkusen before moving back to Brazil with Corinthians in 2015.

He currently plays for Beijing Guoan and is one of the best paid players in the Chinese Super League.

38. Andrea Russotto | AC Bellinzona

He flopped big time. Has spent much of his career in Italy's lower leagues and now plays for Cavese in Serie C.

37. Mesut Ozil | Schalke

Ozil went to the very top. He went on to join Real Madrid before leaving for Arsenal. 

Mesut Ozil has fallen out of favour with Unai Emery at Arsenal

36. Nikolay Mihaylov | Liverpool

Mikaylov never made an appearance for Liverpool and is now back in Bulgaria with Levski Sofia.

35. Fran Merida | Arsenal

Merida left for Atletico Madrid in 2010 and now plays for Osasuna.

34. Daniel Opare | Ashanti Gold SC

Opare was signed by Real Madrid in 2008 but he never appeared for the first team. He's now at Antwerp after spending time at Standard Liege, Porto and Augsburg.

Daniel Opare in action for Antwerp

33. Aaron Niguez | Valencia

Recently played in Malaysia with Johor Darul Ta'zim but was released earlier this year.

32. Ransford Osei | Medeama SC

Osei now plays for Palenga in Lithuania.

31. Cristian Nazarit | America de Cali

Nazarit is back in Colombia with Independiente Medellín.

Cristian Nazarit while with Chicago Fire

30. Sapol Mani | Maranatha FC

Mani never made his name on the world stage and is currently playing for Dynamic Togolais in Togo.

29. Lulinha | Corinthians

Lulinha was once a must-buy on Football Manager but he never lived up to the hype. Now plays in Cyprus with Pafos.

28. Juan Mata | Valencia

Mata has enjoyed a fine career. He left for Chelsea in 2011 and now plays for Manchester United.

Juan Mata has had a fine career

27. Toni Kroos | Bayern Munich

Another great shout. Kroos now plays for Real Madrid and has been one of the best midfielders of his generation.

26. Kerlon | Cruzeiro

The Brazilian spent time with Ajax and Inter but failed to crack European football.

He retired in 2017 after leaving Spartak Trnava.

25. Rabiu Ibrahim | Sporting Lisbon

Ibrahim now plays for ŠK Slovan Bratislava after spells with Celtic and Kilmarnock in Scotland.

Rabiu Ibahim in action for Nigeria as a youngster

24. Nour Hadhria | Club Africain

Hadhria has played in Tunisia his whole career. Is currently without a club after leaving Jendouba Sport23 earlier this year.

23. Lorenzo De Silvestri | Lazio

The Italian has been a dependable right-back. He is now at Torino after spells with Fiorentina and Sampdoria.

Lorenzo De Silvestri in action for Torino

22. Damian Ismodes | Club Sporting Cristal

Ismodes moved to Spain with Real Santander in 2008 but never became a regular.

He moved back to Peru a few years later and now plays for Real Garcilaso.

21. Guilherme | Cruzeiro

The Brazilian is currently on loan at Yeni Malatyaspor from Benevento.

20. Marouane Fellaini | Standard Liege

Fellaini became a laughing stock at Manchester United but he's still had a solid career.

Is currently impressing in China with Shandong Luneng.

Marouane Fellaini is impressing in China

19. Fabio Coentrao | Benfica

Another good shout. Coentrao went on to become a dependable left-back for Real Madrid.

He's currently without a club after being released by Rio Ave.

18. Kermit Erasmus | SuperSport United

Erasmus is now back in South Africa with Cape Town City after stints at Feyenoord, Rennes and Lens.

17. Fabio da Silva | Manchester United

Fabio left United in 2014 and now plays for Nantes.

Fabio now plays for Nantes

16. Dumitru Copil | Hearts

Hearts won the race for Copil but he never appeared for the first team. He returned to Romania in 2009 and now plays for Progresul Pecica.

15. Karim Benzema | Lyon

Benzema has had a fine career. He remains one of Real Madrid's most important players.

14. Macauley Chrisantus | Abuja

Chrisantus had success with Las Palmas but his career has been on a downward spiral since leaving in 2014.

He now plays in Iran with Zob Ahan SC.

Macauley Chrisantus didn't live up to the hype

13. Franco Di Santo | Audax Italiano

Di Santo joined Chelsea in 2008 but failed to score in 16 appearances for the club.

Went on to play for Blackburn, Wigan, Werder Breman, Schalke, Rayo and is now at Atlético Mineiro.

12. Diego Buonanotte | River Plate

The 5 foot 3 playmaker now plays for Universidad Católica.

11. Angel di Maria | Benfica

Di Maria went on to join Real Madrid before a failed spell at Manchester United. He's found his feet at Paris Saint-Germain.

Angel di Maria became one of the best players in the world

10. Gerardo Bruna | Liverpool

Bruna was on the books at Real Madrid and Liverpool as a youngster but never fulfilled his potential.

He now plays in Ireland with Derry City.

9. Breno Borges | Sao Paulo

Breno joined Bayern in 2008 before returning to Brazil. He now plays for Vasco de Gama.

8. Bojan Krkic | Barcelona

Bojan burst onto the scene at Barcelona as a 16-year-old, scoring 10 goals in his first season in La Liga.

But his playing time declined over the years and he joined Roma in 2011.

Now plays for Montreal Impact.

Bojan ended up at Stoke City

7. Sergio Aguero | Atletico Madrid

He didn't turn out too bad, did he? Still one of the world's best strikers at Manchester City.

6. Gareth Bale | Tottenham

Bale has had his troubles at Real Madrid and could leave in January. Zinedine Zidane will be making a huge mistake if he allows him to leave.

It will be a mistake to let Gareth Bale leave Real Madrid

5. Giovani dos Santos | Barcelona

Dos Santos left Barca in 2008 and went on to play for Spurs and Mallorca.

Now plays for Club América in Mexico.

4. Anderson | Manchester United

Anderson won the Golden Boy in 2008 but unfortunately he never kicked on from there.

He retired last month after a spell with Adana Demirspor in Turkey.

Anderson never kicked on at Manchester United

3. Alexandre Pato | AC Milan

Pato scored 57 times in his first four seasons with AC Milan but injuries eventually took it's toll and he ended up leaving in 2013.

He's now back in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

2. Ismail Aissati | PSV Eindhoven

It just didn't quite happen for Aissati. He left for fierce rivals Ajax in 2008 but never established himself as a regular.

He now finds himself at Denizlispor.

Ismail Aissati joined Ajax from fierce rivals, PSV

1. Sadick Adams | Atletico Madrid

Who? Adams was ranked as the most exciting youngster in the world in 2007, but you'd be forgiven if you had never heard of him.

He left Atletico for Vojvodina in 2009 but failed to score for the Serbian outfit.

He's been a journeyman ever since and now plays in Lebanon with Shabab El-Bourj SC. Talk about a fall from grace.

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