In 2015, Lionel Messi picked 10 youngsters to become stars - where are they now?

Sydney FC v Chelsea FC

Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer of all-time.

The Argentine has set record after record in what has been an extraordinary career.

Now 32 years old, Messi is still at the peak of his powers.

Due to his age, though, it is unknown how long he will go on for and he's likely to retire at some point this decade.

But who will take his mantle as the best player in the world? Messi himself had his say back in 2015.

In collaboration with Adidas, Messi selected 10 youngsters from around the world that he thought would be future stars.

The 10 players chosen were then given 'Messi15' boots to wear for the 2015/16 season.

It's been five years since the youngsters were 'backed by Messi.' So, who were the 10 players and where are they now?

Accursio Bentivegna

Where was he in 2015? Palermo (on loan at Como)
Where is he in 2020? Carrarese

Bentivegna was 18 at the time and, after making three appearances for Palermo in the 2014/15 season, was shipped out on loan to Como.

But he failed to fulfill his potential.

Now 24, the Italian is currently in Serie C with Carrarese. He has not played for the club since September and has just eight career goals to his name.

US Citta di Palermo v Pontisola - Preseason Friendly

Jeremie Boga

Where was he in 2015? Chelsea
Where is he in 2020? Sassuolo

Boga joined Chelsea in 2009 and made his Premier League debut in 2015.

A series of loans followed in the next few seasons, including to Rennes and Birmingham, but Boga failed to make it into Chelsea's first team.

He left in a £3.5m deal to Sassuolo in 2018 and he is currently impressing in Serie A. He has five goals in 20 appearances this season.

MK Dons v Chelsea XI - Pre-Season Friendly

Maxwell Cornet

Where was he in 2015? Lyon
Where is he in 2020? Lyon

One of Messi's better tips. Cornet has been a regular for Lyon since making his debut in 2015.

In five seasons, he has netted 41 times in 174 games. He's also made 16 appearances for Ivory Coast.



Where was he in 2015? Chelsea
Where is he in 2020? Getafe (on loan from Chelsea)

In 2015, Kenedy had recently moved to Chelsea and he would go on to make 20 appearances in his first campaign.

The Brazilian was sent out on loan for the following seasons, though, where he went on to have two successful spells with Newcastle.

Now 23, Kenedy is currently on loan at Getafe. It's likely he will be sold by Chelsea in the near future.

Chelsea v Norwich City - Premier League

Rony Lopes

Where was he in 2015? Monaco
Where is he in 2020? Sevilla

Lopes was brilliant in the 2017/18 season. He scored 15 Ligue 1 goals for Monaco in what was a breakout campaign for the Portuguese.

But he's failed to build on that success. His numbers dropped the following season and he made the move to Sevilla last summer.

He's made just two La Liga appearances this campaign as he's found first team opportunities hard to come by.


Aleksey Miranchuk

Where was he in 2015? Lokomotiv Moscow
Where is he in 2020? Lokomotiv Moscow

Miranchuk had been a key player for Lokomotiv Moscow since making his debut in 2013.

He's currently enjoying his best season in front of goal, having scored nine times in 21 games from midfield.

The 24-year-old has also made 25 appearances for Russia.

FC Zenit St Petersburg v FC Lokomotiv Moscow - Russian Premier League

Khiry Shelton

Where was he in 2015? New York City
Where is he in 2020? Kansas City

At the start of 2015, Shelton became the second overall pick in the Superdraft.

The forward would go on to score just six times for the club before departing in 2017.

Now 26, Shelton recently moved back to the MLS after signing for Kansas City from German side Paderborn.

New England Revolution v New York City FC

James Wilson

Where was he in 2015? Manchester United
Where is he in 2020? Aberdeen

Wilson scored twice on his Man United debut in 2014, but that was as good as it got for him.

After unsuccessful loan spells at Derby and Sheffield United, he now plays for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League.

He's yet to hit the back of the net in 11 appearances this season.


Timo Werner

Where was he in 2015? Stuttgart
Where is he in 2020? RB Leipzig

The best player on the list by far.

Leipzig decided to smash their club transfer record when they spent €10 million on Werner in 2016. That's proven to be an incredible deal.

He's since scored 86 times in 141 games for the club. He's on the brink of a massive move to one of the world's best clubs.


Gyasi Zardes

Where was he in 2015? LA Galaxy
Where is he in 2020? Columbus Crew

Zardes has had a decent career in MLS. He's scored 33 times in 64 games for Columbus Crew since joining in 2018.

He's also netted 12 times in 55 games for the United States.

Mexico v United States

So it appears Messi isn't the greatest judge of talent.

Of the 10 players on the list, only Werner has gone on to establish himself as a world-class player.

Others have gone on to forge decent careers in football, including Boga, Miranchuk and Lopes.

But Wilson and Bentivegna have just been pure flops.

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