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From Barcelona hero Lionel Messi to Manchester United star Paul Pogba – nice gamers who’ve by no means performed of their residence nation’s high league


Most high flight footballers will take nice pleasure within the reality they’ve performed on the highest degree of their residence nation.

However there are some star names from world wide who’ve by no means showcased their expertise of their nation’s high division.

Messi was scouted by Barcelona when he was simply seven and due to this fact by no means performed a senior match for his native membership Newell’s Previous Boys

Barcelona famous person Lionel Messi is a kind of.

The Argentine was so proficient that he was scooped up by Barcelona at simply seven years of age, becoming a member of the membership’s well-known ‘La Masia’ academy.

While the norm for footballers is to work your means up the by the ranks to the highest the place you grew up, many stars have taken the unconventional route by transferring overseas with a view to catch the attention of talent-spotters.

However who’re these stars and the place are they now? talkSPORT.com has recognized a number of the greatest gamers to have by no means showcased their ability on the highest degree of their residence nation.



Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)Surprisingly, the Blues icon by no means plied his commerce in his native Ivory Coast as he was despatched to France to stay together with his footballing uncle, Michel Goba, aged 5.

Drogba made his skilled debut at 18 years previous for Ligue 2 membership Le Mans, signing his first skilled contract aged 21.

The ahead spent 4 years on the membership earlier than sealing a change to Guingamp in 2002, the place he netted a powerful 20 objectives in 45 appearances in his first season.

Along with his high quality up entrance clear for all to see, Marseille then swooped in for Drogba for £3.3m and he netted 19 occasions in his first season within the French high flight.

Then Chelsea, underneath new proprietor Roman Abramovich and managed by Jose Mourinho, made the plunge to spend large to signal Drogba in 2004 for a price of £24m – which now appears like an absolute steal given what he went on to do for the membership.

Drogba, who received all the things there’s to win in English soccer, was despatched to France aged 5 to stay together with his uncle
AFP

Pauleta (Portugal)

The ex-Portugal worldwide, who was not too long ago overtaken by Cristiano Ronaldo because the nation’s file goalscorer, spent his early profession within the decrease leagues quite than the Primeira Division’s large three – Sporting, Porto and Benfica – as you’ll have imagined.

Portuguese second tier facet Estoril is the place many caught discover of his goalscoring prowess as he scored 18 objectives in 28 league appearances in a single season on the membership.

A transfer to Spain and Salamanca adopted in 1996 and the objectives continued to come back at a powerful charge as he netted fired in 19 objectives to assist the membership acquire promotion to LaLiga.

His sharpshooting would see him transfer to France, the place he scored a mixed 266 objectives for Bordeaux and PSG earlier than calling time on a superb profession.

Pauleta dazzled within the decrease leagues in Portugal however by no means made a high flight appearances regardless of representing Porto’s youth sides

Paulo Dybala (Argentina)

The Juventus ace netted 17 objectives – together with two hat-tricks – with Argentinian second-tier workforce Instituto earlier than Serie A facet Palermo snapped him up earlier than his debut season had even come to an finish.

The playmaker, who was dubbed ‘the brand new Sergio Aguero’, joined the membership as an 18-year-old and went on to attain 21 objectives in 89 league appearances from 2012-2015.

Juventus then swooped in to signal Dybala for £35m in 2015 and he has gone on to turn out to be one of many Previous Woman’s most essential gamers, serving to the membership to 4 consecutive titles with 64 objectives in 152 league appearances.

Dybala plied his commerce with second tier Argentine membership Instituto earlier than Palermo snapped him up
Getty Photographs – Getty

Paul Pogba (France)

Manchester United noticed the expertise of Pogba while he was within the ranks at French second division facet Le Havre and he moved to Previous Trafford in 2009.

Nonetheless, regardless of his expertise clear for all to see, he struggled to impress Sir Alex Ferguson together with his angle, making simply made seven senior appearances in his first spell at Previous Trafford.

He returned to the membership in 2016 for £90m from Juventus and has blown cold and warm on his return, with many saying he has been too inconsistent throughout his time on the membership.

Nonetheless, Pogba might make a high flight look in France within the close to future with PSG eager to signal him this summer season.

Pogba, 28, spent two years at Le Havre earlier than Man United got here calling in 2009
Getty – Contributor

Marco Verratti (Italy)

Having dazzled within the second tier with Pescara, many believed Verrati, dubbed ‘the brand new Andrea Pirlo’, was destined for giant issues in Serie A after he helped the membership to promotion with the likes of Ciro Motionless and Lorenzo Insigne.

However he was shortly snapped up by PSG in a £10.5m deal, the place has emerged as one in all Europe’s greatest central midfielders within the final decade.

He has remodeled 250 appearances on the Parc des Princes in eight years with the membership.

Verrati, alongside Motionless and Insigne, propelled Pescara to Serie A earlier than he was snapped up by PSG in 2012

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Netherlands)

The legendary Premier League ahead spent 4 seasons within the Netherlands however by no means truly performed for a high flight membership – with all his appearances coming within the second division with Telstar and AZ Alkmaar.

Alkmaar launched him in 1993 and he went to Austria thereafter to hunt an expert contract, however did not make an impression.

He finally caught the attention of Portuguese facet Campomaiorense and impressed there, incomes a transfer to Boavista after one season.

Premier League giants Leeds then swooped in 1996 the place he scored 34 objectives in 79 Premier League appearances in two seasons at Elland Highway.

Strikes to Atletico Madrid and Chelsea adopted, the place he would make his title as one of the deadly strikers in Europe and he would later go on to ply his commerce with Middlesbrough, Charlton and Cardiff earlier than hanging up his boots.

Chelsea legend Hasseilbank sought an expert contract in Austria after struggling to discover a membership in Holland

Eden Hazard (Belgium)

Despite the fact that a number of high golf equipment had been monitoring his progress, Hazard’s father determined to journey throughout the border to France to place his son within the store window for Ligue 1 golf equipment.

Lille took the plunge to signal the winger they usually reaped the rewards of the transfer as he dazzled for 5 years on the membership from 2007-2012.

Hazard scored 36 occasions in 132 high flight matches for the membership earlier than Chelsea splashed out £32m to signal him in 2013.

The Belgian magician went on to turn out to be a real Stamford Bridge nice, serving to the membership to 2 Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, an FA Cup and league Cup, in addition to scooping a number of particular person accolades earlier than sealing his dream £100m change to Actual Madrid final summer season.

Hazard received six home trophies at Chelsea earlier than sealing a transfer to Actual Madrid final summer season
Getty Photographs – Getty

Antoine Griezmann (France)

As a teenager, Griezmann had trials with quite a few French golf equipment however he didn’t do sufficient to safe a transfer to any of them.

Nonetheless, at one of many trials Montpelier, he stood out to a Actual Sociedad scout and was subsequently whisked off to Spain as a 14-year-old.

After 5 very productive years there, he moved to Atletico the place he made his title as one of many world’s high forwards.

Final summer season, he sealed a £104m change to Barcelona – however he might reportedly be on the transfer once more this summer season.

Griezmann did not impress many French golf equipment earlier than a Actual Sociedad scout snapped him up
Getty Photographs – Getty

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

On the age of simply seven and standing 4ft tall, Messi joined Argentine high flight facet Newell’s Previous Boy’s youth ranks the place spent six years from 1994-2000.

It was solely when Messi’s father despatched a video of him showcasing his ability to a number of golf equipment that Barcelona made their transfer to signal the teenager.

Now, 718 matches and 627 objectives later, the 32-year-old is taken into account by many as the best participant the world has ever seen.

He might play for Newell’s Previous Boy’s earlier than his profession is out although.

Messi has received a complete of 30 trophies in his membership and worldwide profession



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