Phenoms

Move Over Freddy Adu, There’s A New 14-Year-Old Phenom Getting Minutes In Europe

AC Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma, Toulouse’s Alban Lafont, Benfica’s Mile Svilar and Glenavon’s Conner Byrne: while all are teenage goalkeepers playing senior football in Europe, only one stands alongside Freddy Adu as having made their professional debut at age 14 (and perhaps as also having an insatiable thirst for Sierra Mist, but that’s totally unfounded at this point).

Thiago Messi Hilarity Causes Dad And Luis Suarez To Lose It During Golden Shoe Ceremony

Five-year-old Thiago Messi is obviously too young to understand that there’s nothing more serious than a football awards gala. That’s why FIFA and UEFA spend hours patting themselves on the back while dragging out an exercise that should really only take roughly 10-15 minutes. It’s a place for old men in expensive suits to enjoy upper, upper class high society, not general mirth.

Can You Name The Only Three Teenagers To Have Scored Hat-Tricks In The Champions League?

Scoring a hat-trick in Europe’s premier club competition is no mean feat, especially so as an adolescent teenager between the ages of 13 and 19. The list of players to have accomplished the goalscoring achievement reads like a who’s who of the world’s greatest talent since the tournament’s adoption in 1992. 

In fact, only 18 players have multiple Champions League hat-tricks to their name, with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo having accomplished the task a staggering seven times. Nobody else has recorded more than three.

Marcus Rashford Grew Up Idolizing Tim Howard In Goal For Manchester United

For those who watched any of this fall’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, you might’ve noticed one distinct trait which unified the entire playing field. Whether the teenagers on show played for India, Mali, Honduras or New Caledonia, they all tried their best to look like Neymar.

With socks worn above the knees, a right wrist covered in orthopedic tape, hair shorn on the sides and left to do whatever up top, you could tell the youths were focused on the task at hand but also in a revery over what their tattoo sleeves would look like come their 18th birthday.

What’s The Deal With Christian Pulisic’s Face In FIFA?

Christian Pulisic is kind of a big deal, and not just in the United States. He’s one of the few reasons to get excited about American soccer over the next couple years, and he’s one of Borussia Dortmund’s star performers this season. Heck, he recently nutmegged Dutch star Arjen Robben.

There’s A Brilliant New Number 10 Rising Through Barcelona’s La Masia

Alex Collado, born in the city of Sabadell in Catalonia (the birthplace of Sergio Busquets), joined La Masia back in 2011 as a 12-year-old. The central midfielder has since risen through the club’s youth ranks, appearing for Barca’s Juvenil A (the premier U-19 side and the final stage of progression at La Masia) throughout the 2016-17 season as a 17-year-old. 

Collado played a vital role in Barca’s run to the semifinals of last year's UEFA Youth League, which culminated in a 2-1 defeat to eventual champions Red Bull Salzburg. 

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