Wonderkids don't always become wonderadults.

Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2018 according to GOAL

Unless you’re Paul the Octopus, Mystic Meg, or one of those nutters who had £100 on Leicester to win the title in 2016, predicting the future is basically impossible. Each year, though, GOAL have given it their best shot, picking out the best wonderkids in world football.

It’s not an exact science. Footballers are humans, except for maybe Lionel Messi. Actually, Erling Haaland gives created-in-a-laboratory vibes as well, but, generally speaking, humans are fallible and wonderkids are not guaranteed to become wonderadults.

We thought we’d take a look at the ten highest-ranked wonderkids from GOAL’s 2018 list, and what they’re up to these days.

Timothy Tillman

It didn’t really work out for Timothy. He was extremely highly thought of — Real Madrid came-a-knocking when he was at Bayern, but Bayern said, “Nein. Gehen sie the f*ck away.”

Tillman didn’t get many opportunities at Bayern and ended up going back to his boyhood club Greuther Furth, lost his place there, too, and is now at LAFC, where he is now playing regularly and has tied down a regular place in the starting line-up.

Ferran Torres

Torres was breaking through at Valencia back in 2018. He had one season at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola before joining Xavi’s Barcelona. Couple of mixed seasons and a hamstring injury but he seems to be back to his best now.

We fancy Ferran to crack on, but he’ll have to push ahead of Raphinha and Lamine Yamal if he’s going to do it at Barca.

QUIZ: Can you name the clubs these 20 former Man City stars are playing for in 2024?

Timothy Weah

The second Timmy on this list was making first team appearances for PSG in 2018. Six years on, he’s enjoyed a loan spell at Celtic, won Ligue 1 with Lille, and is now at Juventus.

George’s boy is struggling to get into the starting XI ahead of Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic — the jury is still out on which Weah Timothy’s career will go.

Ben Woodburn

The Football Manager games very much agreed with GOAL. Ben Woodburn was destined for the very top. We all thought it too, after seeing his cameos for Liverpool and Wales.

Problem was — Liverpool had a pretty decent front three. Ben bounced around the EFL and Scottish Premiership via various loans before being released by the Reds.

Preston North End signed him up, but the winger is used mainly as a sub.

Dan-Axel Zagadou

Zagadou got absolutely obliterated by injuries. His Dortmund career was defined by them. Eventually, he got fit and, after being released by the Schwarzgelben, Dan-Axel made his way to Stuttgart, where everything was dreamy until… ACL.

Dan-Axel Zagadou is cursed and broken.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2016 according to GOAL

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every player to score 10+ Premier League goals as a teenager?

Phil Foden

GOAL were extremely right about Philip Walter Foden. Still only 23 and one of the best players of his generation. Arguably the best English player in terms of pure technique since Paul Gascoigne.

Prepare yourself for a hot take: Phil Foden is absolutely mint.

Matthijs de Ligt

The big Dutch lad was an absolute shoo-in for this list in 2018. He was captaining a generational Ajax team deep into the latter stages of the Champions League when he was barely old enough to vote.

After playing alongside some defensive titans at Juventus, de Ligt is now Bayern’s top-choice centre-back alongside his near-indentical twin Eric Dier.

They’re not twins, obviously. Could be, though.

Vinicius Jr

Vini was back on loan in Flamengo at the time this list was written. He was only 16. Safe to say he has flourished in Madrid. Vinicius might well be the best left winger on Earth, depending on whether you think of Kylian Mbappe as a striker or a winger.

Either way, the Brazilian took to La Liga and European football like a frog to a puddle. He’s still at Real Madrid now, and you’d fancy he will be for the forseeable.

QUIZ: Can you name Liverpool’s 20 youngest Premier League debutants?

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gigi is still only 25. Imagine being AC Milan goalkeeper at 16 years old. In a country famous for producing outstanding keepers.

By 21, the Italian had made his way to Paris and became their starting goalkeeper. He’s still with PSG now, and still going in the Champions League, but Gigi hasn’t become quite as solid as we all thought he would back in 2018. Puts us a bit on edge, watching Gigi, and that’s a bit worrying for a keeper.

Justin Kluivert

Ajax > Roma > RB Leipzig > Nice > Roma > Valencia > Bournemouth

One of the stranger career paths for a 24-year-old. Bournemouth are only the Dutchman’s third permanent club after a bunch of loans, never having really found a club that felt like home. Kluivert is now getting fairly regular football on the South coast, and has cemented himself into pub quiz history forever.


Kluivert is one of only two players to score in all of Europe’s top five leagues. The other? Stevan Jovetic.