Playing football in today's game is incredibly demanding. Yes, they may get paid millions and millions playing their favorite sport week in, week out, which most of us would happily do for free, yet many would excuse it does not come without difficulty. The constant media surrounding players can take its toll, where even the smallest step out of line can be blown way up in a player's face. With the constant temptation that must surround them, be it wanting to live a 'normal' life (wanting to have a drink and go out clubbing) or the 'perks' of being rich and famous (the women, lads …?) a God given talent is not enough to secure your place in history as a top player. Of course, it helps, but it is also necessary to work incredibly hard at training, stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons, and have a bit of luck.
Yet sometimes, a player who sees to show so much promise fails to reach his potential. Could it be the pitfalls of living the footballer lifestyle that takes them off the rails? Were they unlucky with injuries that blighted their career? Or was it just too much, too soon; being built too high up a pedestal they were never going to reach. Of course, the saying goes that the bigger they are, the harder they fall. So why do some players fade so much, when their star appeared destined to shine so bright? The Football Writer has picked his top 10 players who have failed to truly fulfill their potential …
10. Kerlon, 24, Brazil (currently playing for Brazilian side Nacional-NS).
Brazilians are blamed for their flashy technique and dribbling ability, something which certainly was not lacking by Kerlon. An incredible natural talent, he became famous all across the world as millions watched on Youtube his unbelievable 'seal dribble'; bouncing the ball on his head repeatedly while running down the pitch. This would often force opposition players to foul him and become frustrated, which although must have been difficult for himself, could only be of benefit to the team.
Perhaps inevitably due to his trademark dribble he picked up a serious knee injury which limited his appearance. A transfer to Inter Milan via Chievo had Kerlon seemingly destined for a career at the top, yet he continued to suffer from knee injuries which caused him from making an impact. A loan move to Ajax to gain first team fitness and experience in Europe was tarnished by another knee injury, before he escaped his Italian hell with successful loans and an temporary permanent move back to Brazil. He ended four years in Serie A with only four appearances, all for Chievo. Now featuring for Brazilian side Nacional-NS, one can only wonder just how good he could have had he been able to replicate his early natural ability onto the European stage, yet this is a tale of injuries really getting the better of a player before he'd been …Read More