10 youngsters backed to shine by Lionel Messi: Where are they now?

Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain celebrate
Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain celebrate - IMAGO / Sebastian Frej

Adidas created a ‘Backed by Messi’ marketing campaign back in 2015 where 10 young players who had the potential to develop into world-class footballers were chosen by the former Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

According to Daily Mail, each of those players picked by the Argentine international was sent a pair of Messi’s new boots and they became a part of team Messi.

Six years on, most of those players have now struggled to build a fruitful career for themselves in the game and here at Anytime football, we look at ten such footballers.

Accursio Bentivegna

The Italian teenager made quite a name for himself with Palermo when he was 18 years old but injuries have played a major part in his decline over the years and the talented youngster has made just eight appearances for the Italian club in two and a half years.

Marcos Lopes

The former Manchester City player was highly rated in the game and he became the Premier League side’s youngest ever bold scorer after scoring against Watford in the FA Cup.

The player went on to impress for Monaco as well and Spanish outfit Sevilla snapped him up for a fee of £22.5 million. However, the move has not worked out for the former Manchester City player and he has been loaned out to Olympiacos now.


The Brazilian winger was highly rated when he first arrived at Chelsea from Fluminense but he has spent most of his career with the Blues away on loan at different clubs.

Maxwel Cornet

The Ivorian recently joined Premier League club Burnley and he has been quite impressive for the clarets. The 25-year-old was chosen as a potential star by Lionel Messi back in 2015 and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his impressive start to life in the Premier League.

Jeremie Boga

The Ivorian failed to make his mark with Chelsea in the Premier League but his move to Sassuolo has been a turning point in his career. Boga has been outstanding for the Italian club and he is considered as one of the best dribblers in the Italian league.

James Wilson

The youngster was tipped to become a first-team regular at Manchester United but he failed to cement his place in the starting lineup after an impressive introduction to the first team. Injuries have played a key part in his decline over the years.

Timo Werner

The German was undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world during his time at RB Leipzig but the move to Chelsea has not worked out for him.

The German international struggled to score goals last season and his dip in form forced Chelsea to sign Romelu Lukaku as their main striker.

Gyasi Zardes

The United States international is in the twilight years of his career right now but he struggled to make a name for himself at La Galaxy due to a dip in form and injuries.

Khiry Shelton

The American winger did quite well for New York City FC but his move to Paderborn in Germany did not work out and he returned to the United States with Sporting Kansas City.

Aleksey Miranchuk

The Russian was rated highly a few years ago but his move to the Italian league with Atalanta has not worked out. The £13 million signing has failed to live up to the expectations so far and he is struggling to hold down a regular starting berth at Atalanta.