Along with massive hype comes massive pressure and while some footballers embrace the attention, others simply fade away into mediocrity.
Sometimes injuries or psychological issues cause a player’s career to take a nosedive but at other times it is simply a matter of media and fans vastly overestimating his abilities or potential.
Judging by the names who appear on this list of much-talked-about footballers who failed to succeed at a level that was expected of them, being Brazilian or English often comes with an extra dose of hype.
The sublime dribbling skills of Robinho saw him hailed as yet another “new Pele” when he was playing for Santos as a teenager. A poor attitude and lack of any kind of consistency meant he could not live up to that billing when he took on the challenges of European football.
Despite the odd moment of brilliance for Real Madrid, the Brazilian did not establish himself as a favorite of coaches or fans.At Manchester City he encountered similar problems, and he sought a loan move back to his homeland in 2010.
South America guru Tim Vickery wrote this for World Soccer about Robinho at the time and although the player has since returned to European football with Milan, it is clear he is never going to be regarded as one of the great Brazilian players.
Ganso makes a thunderous debut for Santos. In 2009, the attacking midfielder notably scored eight league goals. He continue his progression with his training club, until being called up with Brazil in 2010. His transfer to Sao Paulo allows him to win his first major trophies, including the Copa Libertadores. We can’t wait to see it in Europe!
He finally commits to 27 years on the Old Continent, on the side of Seville FC. However, it is a flop since heonly play ten La Liga matches, in two seasons, before being loaned to Amiens SC. And in Ligue 1, Ganso fails to revive. He therefore decided to return to his native country in 2019
- Marvin Martin
He is one of the players who has been compared to Zinédine Zidane. It must be said that Marvin Martin did not do half a thing when he started playing for FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. He established himself as one of the best passers in the competition, with 17 assists especially during the 2010/2011 season, meaning he was called up with the French team.
He scored two goals in his first match for his country, during a huge victory over Ukraine (4-1). But since then he has not worn a French shirt. After his transfer to LOSC, he began to be less and less crawling until he now evolved alongside Hyères in France National league 2.
- Ibrahim Afellay
Interestingly in his first match with PSV Eindhoven, Ibrahim Afellay established himself at the age of 17 as a key player in the PSV training club. Little survives the physical glitches, always managing to find a place in the starting lineup.
And FC Barcelona signed him in 2015, for 3 million euros, one year from the end of his contract.
However, Ibrahim Afellay has never win at a Catalan club. Obviously, his body did not help him. He made just 36 appearances for Barça and surely be sold five years after his arrival. The 53-year-old Dutch midfielder has ended his career with PSV Eindhoven.
- Jack Rodwell
You couldn’t miss Jack Rodwell. Considered a very big hope when he played at Everton, the English midfielder seems ready to take on a new dimension in 2012. He joins Manchester City, having played more than 80 games with the Toffees. However, that didn’t go over well with the Sky Blues. He only played 16 games in two seasons.
His coronation in the Premier League in 2014 will not change anything! Jack Rodwell must leave to relaunch his career. However, he never regain his level shown at Everton. And it is now very far from England that he evolves. The 30-year-old has decided to pursue his career in Australia.
- Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli made his Serie A debut at the age of 15, alongside AC Lumezzane. And Inter Milan did not wait long to get their hands on this great talent! As the season progresses, he is gaining strength in the Inter Milan squad. He even won the Champions League in 2010 before moving to Manchester City.
Of course, we talk a lot about Super Mario for his escape than his football prowess. However, he had a good time with AC Milan, where he scored 12 goals in 13 games in 2013, at OGC Nice, where he fully recovered after a difficult season, or with Squadra Azzurra, where he shone during Euro 2012. However, He should have do more than that.
- Jesé Rodriguez
This may surprise some, but Jesé Rodriguez is clearly on the list! Real Madrid’s prolific striker, the Spanish midfielder was able to gain a place in the Madrid club roster from 2013 to 2016. He also manages to work well with Real Madrid, scoring goals.
When PSG signed him in 2021. However, Jesé Rodriguez quickly became one of the biggest flops in the history of the French capital club. He scored just one goal in Ligue 1, and the Spaniard was quickly added to the roster. His high salary, however, creates a problem.
How to predict such a career choice for the Oscars? Explosion at SC International, the attacking Brazilian midfielder returns to Chelsea early. And it didn’t take long for him to become an integral part of the Blues system. He has made a significant contribution to his club success in the Europa League (2013) and in the Premier League (2015).
However, he surprised everyone when, in December 2016, he decided to make a commitment to China. We are talking about an athlete who is only 25 years old.