The world of football may seem a lot different to other industries due to the vast amounts of money thrown around and the fame whether good or bad that footballers are subjected to from the moment they step football on the grass, however, the football industry shares many similarities to most others. Football like any other is about decisions. Lionel Messi may not have become arguably the best player of all time if it wasn’t the decision of Barcelona to make sure he undergoes treatment for his growth. Another is the decisions football scouts and officials take into accepting and rejected young footballers. Chris Nathaniel, football agent for the NVA entertainment group said “I’m very specific about the talent I take on. I only take on talent I think I can improve.” This sort of attitude from agents and scouts alike has led to great successes in their search for talent but also let some slip from under the nails. Here we look at youngsters who were rejected by their clubs.
Antoinne Greizman is one of the best footballers in the world and cemented that position when he helped France lift the 2018 world cup in Russia. However, there was a time when Greizmann’s dream of becoming a professional footballer may not have happened. When he was 15 Greizmann was rejected by a host of French clubs due to his diminutive size. Until one scout Eric Olhats of Real Sociedad convinced the club to give him a chance. And well, the rest is history.
Another famous player on this list is Dutch and AC Milan legend Ruud Gullit. Ruud Gullit was part of a trio that was one best ever alongside Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten where they dominated club football. However back in 1982 Gulitt had a trial for Arsenal and was famously rejected by then Arsenal Manager Terry Neil citing him as a “Lazy and Undisciplined” player. Just Imagine how football history would have changed with Gullit in the red of Arsenal.
Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima who went on to various world player of the year awards and was the top scorer in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup triumph faced early rejection in his career. Hoping to join his boyhood club Flamengo where his idol Zico amazed the masses in the ’80s, Ronaldo was invited to a trial. He impressed and invited to a second trial the day after but couldn’t afford the bus ticket to Flamengo’s training ground. The club decided not to invite him back to prove himself. This led Ronaldo to join Cruzeiro where he would start his journey to go down in footballing history as one of the best players of all time.