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20 players listed as wonderkids in FIFA 07 – and where they ended up 10 years later

I always loved the FIFA games when I was young and always bought the latest version, but none of them (although 13 comes close) rival FIFA 07. I spend hundreds of hours on Manager Mode and over time I learned which players developed into world class talent and which ones didn’t. Since it’s almost 10 years since the game was released, I’ve decided to select 20 players who reached the high 80’s/90’s on FIFA 07 Manager Mode and see if they matched the potential that EA predicted for them in real life.

1. Antonio Barragan – Peak Potential 89

Barragan became one of the games best full backs starting off as a 19 year old in Deportivo. Was signed in the summer by Middlesborough and is a regular starter for them. Although he has become a regular for his current team, and his former team Valencia, he never became one of the greatest full backs in the world like EA predicted at the time.

Potential reached? No.

2. Gareth Bale – Peak Potential – 90

Bale is listed as a left back in the game and grows into one of the best defenders in the game as a 17 year old at Southampton. Now plays as a winger in one of the strongest teams in the world in Real Madrid and has won the Champions League twice. He has become one of the best players in the world, just as EA predicted.

Potential reached? Yes.

3. Theo Walcott – Peak potential – 95

Walcott grows into one of the best forwards in the game, starting his career at Arsenal as a 17 year old, he grows into a lightning quick right forward player that scares the living daylights out of any team. He has had a hit and miss career in real life, thanks to injuries and confidence, but still plays for Arsenal and England on occasion. He has been a good player for Arsenal, but he has never been one of the best players in world football.

Potential reached? No.

4. Lionel Messi – Peak Potential – 99

Lionel Messi starts at something ridiculous like 87 as a left forward at Barcelona and grows into one of the best players in the game. In real life he has won every major honour domestically and is widely regarded as the best player in the world and one of the best players to have ever graced the game, and is still playing for Barcelona. EA got this one spot on.

Potential reached? Yes.

5. Salomon Kalou – Peak Potental – 98

The Ivorian hitman begins the game as a 21 year old already in the 80’s, but blossoms into the second best non regen player in the game. He showed huge potential at Chelsea after signing for Feyenoord, and despite a good career, doing well at Lille and now at Hertha Berlin and playing in numerous World Cups for the Ivory Coast collecting 92 caps, he never was one of the best players in the world in his prime.

Potential reached? No.

6. Efrain Juarez Valdes – Peak Potential 88

He was a player always transfer listed by Barcelona in the game but he always grew into an exceptional player that you could get on the cheap and was always one of my first signings. The Efrain Juarez Valdez of today was best known for a failed stint at Celtic after impressing at the 2010 World Cup with Mexico. Now plays for in his homeland for Monterrey.

Potential reached? No.

7. Rafael Sobis – Peak Potential 96

He was one of those Brazilian players who you could get from the cheap and would turn into a world class striker after a few seasons, and a player adored by FIFA 07 Manager Mode players everywhere. However the Rafael Sobis of today never reached those dizzy heights he surely reached in your respective saves. He’s played for a string of Brazlian clubs, as well as a stint in the UAE with Al-Jazira, a year in Mexico with Tigres and two yeard early on in his career with Betis. Currently plays for Cruzeiro and has made 11 appearences for the club, scoring 3 goals.

Potential reached? No.

8. Nilmar – Peak Potential – 94

Not to be confused with Neymar, he was probably the player you wanted partnering Rafael Sobis in attack, Nilmar became an outstanding player in the game. Has had a bit of a journeyman career in real life, swapping from Brazil to Asia on a regular basis, as well as spells in France for Lyon and Villareal in Spain earlier on in his career. Currently plays for Al-Nasr in the UAE, having played there since 2015.

Potential reached? No.

9. Guillermo Ochoa – Peak Potential – 87

The Mexican was a player signed by shrewd Manager Mode players, being one of the few non regen keepers to grow into a solid goalkeeper,although I don’t know why because the goalkeeping mechanics in the game were garbage anyway so it didn’t really matter who you stuck in there, they were always going to be shit and concede ridiculous goals. Guillermo Ochoa in real life moved to Europe quite late on in his career, playing for Ajaccio in France and then to Spain with Malaga. Is currently on loan at Granada after failling to oust Carlos Kameni from his starting spot, although he’s playing regularly for the Nasrids at least.

Potential reached? No (though I suspect a certain Mexican may disagree, he never was one of the games top goalkeepers in his prime).

10. Eugene Polanski – Peak Potential – 90

The Polish born German chose to play for his birth nation in 2011, but could easily have played for his adoptive nation after showing early promise. Now plays for 1899 Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Has played 11 times this season for the club who were unbeaten in the league until very recently, but he never reached the career heights that Bastian Schweinsteiger reached.

Potential reached – No.

11. Marc-Andre Kruska – Peak Potential 88

A must sign for any Manager Mode player, Kruska sat in that hole and growled. In real life he’s lost his bite after such promise earlier on for Dortmund in his career. Has since been plying his trade in the lower leagues of Germany, signing for 3. Liga team SC Paderborn in the summer.

Potential reached? No.

12. Sebastian Tyrala – Peak Potential 92

Like Kruska, Tyrala played for the gold mine that was Borussia Dortmund in FIFA 07 and became one of the best attacking midfielders in the game as a result. In real life he now plays for 3. Liga team RW Erfut and has been playing for them since 2014.

Potential reached? No.

13. Johan Vonlanthen – Peak Potential 88

The Colombian born Swiss striker showed early promise at PSV and Red Bull Salzburg back in 07. Now plays for Servette FC in the Swiss Challenge league and has been playing there since 2014, after coming out of retirement in 2013.

Potential reached? No.

14. Giovanni Dos Santos – Peak Potential 92

This guy was a monster back then as an 18 year old and you could start him for pretty much every decent team after signing him from Barcelona at around £4 million. Now plays for LA Galaxy in the MLS after playing in England for Spurs and Ipswich, Turkey for Galatasaray and Spain with Racing, Villareal and Mallorca.

Potential reached? No.

15. Gonzalo Castro – Peak Potential 92

Castro could be picked up on the cheap and would always grow into a solid defender. In real life he’s proven to be a solid player in the Bundesliga as well, playing nearly 300 league games for Leverkusen and is now playing for Borussia Dortmund. Good player but never the best defender in the game.

Potential reached? No.

16. Anderson – Peak Potential 94

The player who was always better than Kleberson, whilst the in game Anderson was weak in the challenge and got outmuscled by every player in the game, it was his passing and shooting which warrnted his place in any Manager Mode team. Now plays in his homeland for International and has been there since 2015.

Potential reached? No.

17. Nuri Sahin – Peak Potential – 92

Sahin drew my attention when I saw he had a non regen face and I was crazy about those as a kidso I signed him and couldn’t believe who I signed. Has played for some top teams such as Real Madrid and Liverpool but barely played there. Now back at Borussia Dortmud. the midfielder has rarely started for them.

18. Jesus Navas – Peak Potential 87

A player who exploded into life every game, Navas looked to be a one club man, however a swap of shirt (and probably more money) swayed him to join the s Sheikh’s project. Currently plays sporadically for Manchester Ciy but never complains or kicks up a fuss.

Potential reached? I’d say no, but it’s a tough one that.

19. Gerard Pique – Peak Potential 88

The Spaniard started the game at Real Zaragoza and grew into one of the best defenders in the game. In real life he’s also grown into one of the worlds best, partnering first Puyol, Marquez and then Mascherano for Barcelona. There’s no excuse not to be good when you’re playing alongside them!

Potential reached? Yes.

20. Quentin Westberg – Peak Potential 86

The player the game tipped to replace Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller between the sticks of the USMNT, Westberg was a good, cheap option that you could get at the beginning of the game. Now plays as second choice at Tours FC in Ligue 2.

Potential Reached? No.

Now I know there’s a host of other players that could be on this list, such as Sturridge, Dani Alves, Benzema, Kompany etc. but we all know how well those players did. I wanted to try and focus more on the obscure players. Also Micah Richards is an interesting one. He becomes one of the greatest full backs in the world at one point, and peaked in the game at 89, but do you think in his prime EA got that one right?

via: yeskevinlad277