Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

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In the world of football there are so many footballers that do not make it into the professional league while some were rejected at their early stage.

Some of these footballers have done trials with different club as a young player but was never selected by the team.

Here are some of the players that were rejected by top teams when they were young.

Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

Mario Balotelli at Barcelona – The Italian plays currently plays for Nice in the French league after several spell in the Premier League and the Italian league but Balotelli’s couldn’t secure a move to Barcelona in 2006 while on trial. However, doubts about his attitude meant the deal never went ahead despite scoring an impressive five goals.

Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

Marcus Rashford at Man City – The Manchester United forward would have been playing for the rival club now if they had signed him but was rejected by the Etihad side when he was young because it was believed Rashford was too small. The Wythenshawe-born teenager was noticed while playing for Fletcher Moss juniors’ side, just as Wes Brown, Danny Welbeck, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson were before him, and it has emerged that a City scout dismissed him on account of his small frame.

Roy Keane at Brighton – Roy Keane trial at Brighton was cancelled because they heard he was too small. This is the same Roy Keane who was the heartbeat of Man United’s success in the 1990s and early noughties. Undeterred, Keane wrote to Football League clubs asking for a trial and was eventually signed by Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest in 1990 before joining United three years later.

Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

Antoine Griezmann at Lyon – World cup winner, Griezmann was rejected by clubs when he was young including Lyon, Auxerre, Saint-Etienne and Sochaux. The clubs cited his lack of height for their decisions. The Atletico Madrid player left to seek for a better dream and now he is one of the best player in France.

Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

Luke Shaw at Chelsea — Shaw played at the club’s Guildford development centre, but wasn’t offered an academy place. Instead, Shaw joined the Southampton academy aged eight and stayed there until his big money move to Man United in 2014.

Footballers rejected by club as a youngster

Harry Kane at Arsenal – Kane spent a year in the Arsenal academy before being released, due to a lack of height and pace. In 2015, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger stated that he was disappointed the club had chosen to release Kane. “I didn’t know, I read it in the papers,” the former manager said. “I found it quite funny, you know, and you are always a bit angry as well because I asked: ‘Why did he go?’ But at that age, boys can move here and there.”

Ronaldo at Flamengo – As a teenager, Ronaldo was turned down by his favourite club Flamengo. He joined Cruzeiro instead and scored 44 goals in 47 games and went on to become one of football’s greatest ever players. Among other players, he starred for Inter, Barcelona and Real Madrid as well as winning the World Cup with Brazil and has 15 strikes to his name in the tournament.



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