In 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo picked 5 of his favorite young stars to keep an eye on.
Speaking ahead of the release of his biopic, Manchester United star Ronaldo, 36, revealed who he wants to be a star.
The Real Madrid forward of the time hardly ever recognized unheard of stars, but he was still uncannyly precise with his offers.
Ronaldo chose Martin Odegaard, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Memphis Depay as his top kids to watch.
At the time, he said: “You see many players with potential, I would mention Madrid’s Odegaard for example.
“At 16, he’s still young but you can see he’s a very good player.
“For example Hazard, Manchester’s No. 7, Depay, is also a good player. Pogba … and maybe Neymar.”
But how have the five chosen perform since being introduced to the star by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner?
Age in 2015: 16
Club 2015: Real Madrid
Age now: 22
Club now: Arsenal
JUST a few months before Ronaldo was touted by the Norwegians, Odegaard left Stromsgodset to join Real Madrid.
Big things were expected of wonderkid, who made his Norwegian debut at the age of 15.
However, whether it was the weight of expectation or a quick enough defeat, Odegaard struggled to make the cut at the Bernabeu.
Odegaard played just eight times in La Liga during his five years at Real and was loaned to Heerenveen, Vitesse Arnhem and Real Sociedad.
For that reason, the player cannot be considered a ‘hit’.
However, he has restarted his career at Arsenal – joining in January until the end of the season on loan.
He made 20 appearances for the Gunners, scoring twice, which convinced Mikel Arteta to sign him permanently.
Verdict: MISS (currently)
Age in 2015: 23
Club 2015: Barcelona
Age now: 29
Club now: PSG
ALSO the Brazilian captain and the mainstay of the Barcelona team in 2015, Neymar is hardly a shock choice compared to Ronaldo.
Neymar won La Liga and the Champions League just months before Ronaldo’s praise.
However, the brilliant Brazilian will go on to have his best years after claiming the top Spanish crown at the end of that season.
Neymar then moved to Paris Saint-Germain and took them to the Champions League final in 2020.
Despite his regular playing time and a string of injuries that hindered his progress, Neymar has no doubt become a hit in world football.
EDEN HAZARD PLAYER
Age in 2015: 24
Club 2015: Chelsea
Age now: 30
Club now: Real Madrid
HAZARD has had a difficult first season at Real following his move from Chelsea – with concerns about his weight and injury. Those issues seeped into his last campaign, but he hopes the third will be a charm.
But there’s no doubt that Hazard – who just won the Premier League Player of the Year on the way to helping the Blues win the title in 2015 – has had his best years following Ronaldo’s praise.
There were times when the Belgian was completely unstoppable, with the 2018-19 season appearing to be a long standout spin.
His hot form has attracted the attention of Real, who spared no expense to buy him.
After him I admit I’m almost overweight, Hazard has struggled with injury.
Still in his prime, at 30 the best can still come from Hazard…if he can stay fit and stay healthy.
Age in 2015: 22
Club 2015: Juventus
Age now: 28
Club now: Man Utd
A HOT prospect at Manchester United until his move to Juve in 2012, Pogba and Ronaldo never really shared a road at Old Trafford.
A young Pogba was brought in from Le Havre in 2009 – the same summer Ronaldo joined Real Madrid.
The French star has easily spent his best years in Italy – winning a host of Serie A titles and individual accolades, with spots in the Team of the Year .
Just a few months after Ronaldo’s praise, Pogba returned to Man Utd for a then world record price of £ 89 million.
Things have never been perfect for the Frenchman returning to Old Trafford – but he has shown his brilliance regularly and looking forward to one day playing for Real Madrid.
His performance in leading France to the 2018 World Cup crown was truly outstanding and it is impossible not to consider him a success.
Age in 2015: 21
Club 2015: Man Utd
Age now: 27
Club now: Barcelona
DEPAY joined United in the summer of 2015 after being crowned Eredivisie top scorer at the age of 21.
But as has often been the case over the years, the weight of moving to Old Trafford and being in the spotlight has massively hindered his progress.
Depay spent two completely poor seasons at Manchester before being sold to Lyon in 2017.
The Dutch star continues to build a solid career in France and now has 33 goals for the Netherlands, putting him on par with Johan Cruyff.
After signing for Barcelona this season, he has made a good start for the Catalan side with two goals in his first three games.
Verdict: HIT (only)
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/852332/cristiano-ronaldo-five-wonderkids-pogba-depay/ Cristiano Ronaldo picked out 5 young female idols to watch in 2015, but where are they all? – US Sun