Where are they now? PSG’s 14 wonderkids from Football Manager 2014
PSG were fully asserting themselves as France’s dominant club by the time Football Manager 2014 was released, with a number of talented prospects on their books suggesting the future looked bright.
Having been bought out with Qatari money in 2011, the Paris-based club had won the Ligue 1 title in 2012-13 thanks to the management of Carlo Ancelotti and the exploits of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
And they’d retain their title the following year, despite falling to Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals in a manner that hinted at their future struggles in the competition.
PSG were blessed with 14 ‘wonderkids’ (via FM Scout) during that season. We’ve checked in on how the French club’s highly-rated youngsters fared in real life over the past 10 years and where they are today.
It’s surely a rarity that a player can have loan spells at both Real Madrid and Fulham within two years, but Areola has enjoyed a more interesting career than most.
The goalkeeper made 57 appearances for PSG, but also spent time on loan at Bastia, Lens and Villarreal and was never really considered first choice. He’s now at West Ham and has usurped Lukasz Fabianski as the club’s No. 1.
Just 18 years old at the time of release, Maginan has definitely fulfilled his Football Manager potential on actual grass.
The goalkeeper never played a senior game for PSG, and was released in 2015, but was quickly picked up by Lille as an 18-year-old.
He went on to make over 150 appearances for Lille, culminating in a shock Ligue 1 title in 2021, beating his former side to top spot.
Maignan then joined AC Milan as a direct replacement for PSG-bound Gianluigi Donnarumma and has also replaced Hugo Lloris between the sticks for France. He is considered one of the best goalkeepers in European football.
— UEFA EURO 2024 🇫🇷 (@EURO2024FRA) March 28, 2023
Marquinhos had already earned his career-defining move to PSG when FM 2014 was released.
The Brazilian defender had been signed for €31million – think at least double that in today’s market – after one outstanding campaign with Roma.
A decade on, Marquinhos remains in the French capital and is considered a stalwart of Ligue 1’s dominant club. He’s also won 80 caps for Brazil.
Having signed his first professional contract with PSG in the summer of 2013, Arrondel was listed as one of the club’s Football Manager wonderkids but left the Parc des Princes a year later without playing for the senior side.
He has since made a handful of appearances for Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes, but is currently unattached. In fact, it’s unclear whether he’s still playing professionally at all.
English fans will be familiar with Digne, having seen the left-back become a Premier League stalwart with Everton and Aston Villa.
His time in Paris was largely spent as back-up to Maxwell though and the France left-back only made his name after moving to Roma in 2015.
Two years at Barcelona, between 2016 and 2018, have somehow slipped our memory despite Digne performing perfectly well for the Spanish giants.
Lacazette (not that one) joined PSG’s youth side in 2012, but left the club three years later without making a senior appearance.
The midfielder joined 1860 Munich and has since spent his career bobbing about the lower divisions of Germany, France and Switzerland. He added a fourth country to his CV when he signed for Wacker Innsbruck in 2022 and Lacazette remains in Austria to this day.
Verratti is regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, winning nine Ligue 1 titles with PSG after joining in 2012 and also helping Italy to glory at Euro 2020.
He joined Qatari side Al-Arabi this summer and penned an emotional farewell to PSG supporters after making over 400 appearances for the club.
“I was very proud to wear the colours of Paris St-Germain for more than a decade, to rub shoulders with so many great players and to win 30 trophies,” Verratti said.
“Paris, the club and its supporters will always have a very special place in my heart. I will be Parisian forever.”
This list has been split between household names and names that would struggle to gain recognition in their own household – Bambock falls squarely into the latter category.
He left for Spanish side Huesca in 2015 without playing for PSG and has since enjoyed a career that’s taken in spells in the Netherlands, Israel, Portugal and France.
Now 28, the midfielder plays in Hungary for Fehervar.
Rabiot has spent his career with two giants of European football in PSG and Juventus, while winning 39 caps for France, but it never feels like he gets the respect he deserves.
But not every player has the ability to make Lionel Messi look like a fool…
Described as a player who is ‘very fast with both feet and a good striker of the ball’, Bahebeck scored two goals for PSG in 2011 and was regarded as one to lead the Parisian assault on the Champions League at the start of the last decade.
But the forward was loaned out to Valenciennes for the 2013-14, the second of five loan spells before he left PSG permanently in 2018.
Bahebeck is now playing firmly away from the beaten track with Bolivian side Palmaflor.
Moura contributed 46 goals and 50 assists in 229 appearances for PSG. Despite being regarded as an immense talent, he never quite lived up to the hype.
The Brazilian moved to Spurs in 2018 under Mauricio Pochettino and he has been inconsistent there too. He left on a free this summer and is now back in Brazil with Sao Paulo.
Still, we’ll always have that Champions League hat-trick.
Without the away goals rule in the Champions League, THAT Lucas Moura 'winner' 🆚 Ajax would have only taken the tie to extra time 🤯pic.twitter.com/qH4c6RsXft
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) June 24, 2021
Probably the biggest regret on this list, Coman left PSG as an 18-year-old on a free transfer to Juventus after making just four appearances in France, where he became the youngest ever player to play for the club when he was 16.
After just one season at Juventus, Coman joined Bayern Munich on an initial loan and then exploded into life.
Still in his mid-20s, Coman has won pretty much everything on offer and scored the winner in the 2020 Champions League final…against PSG. Ouch.
Happy birthday Kingsley Coman 🇫🇷 🎉
This guy knows how to win trophies! He’s won a league title every year since coming professional! 🤯
Throwback to the most important goal of his career, the winner in the 2020 #UCL final 🏆
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) June 13, 2021
Those who played previous iterations of Football Manager will have probably owned Ongenda at some point and watched him become a reincarnation of Thierry Henry.
The striker was even described as the top French talent of the time by Le Parisien in France, in a generation that included Adrien Rabiot and Kingsley Coman. But in reality, he did not reach his potential in the slightest.
Ongenda made his PSG debut as a substitute for Javier Pastore in the Trophee Des Champions in 2013 as a 17-year-old, and scored the equaliser, playing in the same team as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva.
He would only make 11 league appearances for the club, scoring once, before failed spells in Holland, Spain and Italy.
After spells in the Romanian top flight with FC Botosani and Apollon Limassol in Cyrpus, Ongenda is now without a club. Still only 28, he’s probably wondering how differently things could have panned out for him.
Sainrimat left PSG without playing for the club and has been unattached since leaving Spanish side Vilamarxant in 2020. Not one of Football Manager’s better shouts, this.