What happened to Cristiano Ronaldo's five wonderkid picks five years later

Five wonderkids were set up for either glory or failure back in 2015 after Cristiano Ronaldo labelled them the future of football.

Speaking five years ago ahead of the release of his biopic ‘Ronaldo’, the Portuguese superstar tipped a selection of the hottest names to go on to greatness.

And by all accounts, the then-Real Madrid man seems to have done a pretty good job.

Ronaldo picked Martin Odegaard, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Memphis Depay as his five youngsters to keep an eye on.

He said: “You see many players with potential, I will mention Odegaard of Madrid for example.

Cristiano Ronaldo had tested positive for Covid-19 on three previous occasions
Cristiano Ronaldo picked five players to watch in 2015

“At 16 he’s still young but you can see he’s a very good player.

‘Hazard for example, the No7 of Manchester, Depay, is a good player too. Pogba… and maybe Neymar.”

But how have the quintet fared since being thrown into the spotlight by the Juventus forward and five-time Ballon d’or winner?

Martin Odegaard

Odegaard had just become Ronaldo’s team-mate at Real at the time, and it’s fair to say he has taken a while to get going in the Spanish capital.

Tipped for greatness at a very early age, the Norwegian went from loan spell to loan spell, and played just four times in his first five years at the Bernabeu.

Now 21, Odegaard has become a regular in the first team at Real, although that doesn’t appear to be saying much anymore.

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It seemed a bit odd for Ronaldo to say “maybe Neymar” considering he was already Brazil captain and a vital player for Barcelona at the time – perhaps it was the rivalry talking.

A bit of a controversial player for his theatrics on and off the pitch, Neymar still regularly shows why he is one of the most gifted players football has seen in recent years.

He’s still chasing a Champions League title with PSG, but if they fall short again this season, a return to the Nou Camp could be on the cards.

Eden Hazard

Hazard was already 24 when Ronaldo tipped him for greatness, but he showed signs of improvement at Chelsea to become one of the best players in England for several years.

Ironically, the Belgian has sort of replaced him as Real’s star man, though he’s not really living up to that label just yet.

If he can shake the injury problems and find some form, he can definitely turn things round at Real – he’s got the talent.

Paul Pogba

Despite playing for the same clubs, Ronaldo has never actually crossed paths with Pogba, and the Frenchman was making waves at Juventus in 2015.

Pogba returned to United a then-world record £89million shortly after, and has been seriously up and down during his second spell at Old Trafford.

There’s no doubting his ability, again it’s an attitude issue and off-field issues that have hampered his career, though he did of course win the World Cup in 2018.

Memphis Depay

Regarded as a huge flop from his time at United, where he was in 2015, Depay has managed to turn his career around since.

Now 26 and a key man in Lyon’s attack, Depay is being linked with moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The Dutchman has scored 19 times in 51 games for Holland.



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