Let’s play a game.
Write down who you think the top 50 best footballers will be in ten years and let’s reconvene in a decade and see how we all got on.
In the meantime we can have a look at World Soccer Magazine’s effort from ten years ago.
Before we get into it let’s just get one thing straight.
We’re not having a dig at WSM because if anyone could successfully predict the top 50 they’d be billionaires, or at least very sought after scouts.
But the list does provide an illuminating look at the pitfalls of modern football.
There’s no better place to start than Atletico Madrid’s Sadick Adams, who was ranked as the most exciting teenage footballer on the planet.
Adams was picked up by Madrid after starring in the Under-17 World Cup for Ghana, but played precisely zero games before moving on to Serbian side FK Vojvodina.
His career then took him to the likes of Berekum Chelsea and Al-Ansar before he ended up at current club Asante Kotoko in his native Ghana.
Not quite the route to stardom predicted.
But there were several spot on picks from WSM’s top ten.
Gareth Bale, Alexandre Pato, Sergio Aguero, Ismail Aissati, Giovani dos Santos, Bojan, Anderson and Breno went on to play top flight and Champions League football with varying degrees of success.
Gerardo Bruna, who rounded off the top ten, didn’t quite make it although he is probably the only player to have Argentina Under-20s, Blackpool and Tranmere Rovers on his footballing CV.
Other undisputed stars from the top 50 include Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema, Fabio Coentrao, Marouane Fellaini, Toni Kroos, Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic, Alexis Sanchez, Renato Augusto and Ever Banega.
As for the English representatives, Micah Richards went on to win 13 international caps and lift the Premier League, while Theo Walcott has won 47 caps and picked up three FA Cups.
But for the likes of Dumitru Copil, Lulinha, Aaron Niguez and Nikolay Mihaylov football hasn’t been as kind.
A top effort by WSM. We’ll see you in ten years time for our own predictions, which may or may not be Photoshopped depending on the outcome.