Where are they now? The 17 best wonderkids from Football Manager 2014
As we are now approaching the 10-year anniversary of Football Manager 2014, we couldn’t help but look back on some of the best wonderkids from the game and see what they are up to these days.
The likes of Manchester United, AC Milan and Real Madrid had a ton of highly-rated youngsters breaking through, but only a few were considered potentially world-class.
We’ve taken a look back at the very best youngsters from FM2014 (with an ‘all-time elite’ potential rating of 83 or above on FMScout) and see how they’ve fared in real life over the past 10 years.
The French defender was still in his early days with Real Madrid around the time FM2014 was released and while the hype surrounding him was high, few people would have predicted the success he would go on to have.
With three La Liga titles, four Champions League triumphs, a World Cup trophy and more, Varane practically completed football before he turned 30. We wouldn’t be surprised if he adds a few more trophies to his cabinet with United either.
A fellow member of France’s 2018 World Cup-winning squad, Umtiti was fancied for the top back in 2014. Although his time at the top didn’t last for as long as people would have hoped, he still enjoyed plenty of success throughout his career.
Injuries have hampered him in his later years, but after winning nine trophies with Lyon and Barcelona and having a World Cup medal to his name you can hardly turn your nose up at his career.
Although he didn’t play a single minute of the 2014 World Cup campaign, Ginter was in the Germany squad that won the tournament. The defender has spent his entire career in the Bundesliga and has made over 50 appearances for his country.
While he never quite reached the world-class level that many people thought was attainable, he’s enjoyed a solid career in the German top flight.
The Serbian defender made a good initial impact at Man City as a series of consistent performances helped him win the club’s Young Player of the Season award.
Unfortunately, a bad knee injury at the wrong time ultimately sidelined his career in England and he was soon shipped to Schalke where he’s spent the majority of his career. These days you can catch him in action for Mallorca in La Liga.
Who knows where he could’ve ended up had he not picked up that knee injury as a youngster.
The German defender first made a name for himself with Hoffenheim, but unsurprisingly he enjoyed the most successful portion of his career with Bayern Munich. While playing for the German champions he managed to get his hands on 14 trophies.
These days he is trying his best to stop his former side as he now plays for rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Mattia De Sciglio
The Italian full-back has enjoyed a solid career in Serie A, but never quite hit the heights that were first expected of him. De Sciglio has often been utilised as a squad player whether playing for AC Milan or Juventus.
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuveEN) September 21, 2023
Arguably the most naturally gifted player on this entire list, Pogba was hailed as a generational talent as a youngster and rightly so. The French midfielder had a towering physique whilst also possessing the technical skills of a magician.
On the international stage, Pogba was absolutely devastating at his best, but he never quite had the same consistency at club level. His £80million return to Old Trafford didn’t exactly go to plan and he is now facing the possibility of a ban from football.
Back in his Shakhtar Donetsk days, Bernard was absolutely box-office when it came to YouTube compilations. The diminutive Brazilian looked like the real deal in his early days, but he never quite had the same impact when he left Ukraine.
An unremarkable spell with Everton has been followed by stints in the United Arab Emirates and now Greece.
Stephan El Shaarawy
El Shaarawy is one of those names that has been around for so long we can’t believe he’s only 30. The former AC Milan winger had the world at his fingertips back in 2013 as he was coming off a 19-goal season with Milan.
Unfortunately, he never managed to recapture the form he showcased in 2012–13 and has bounced around several clubs since. He dropped off the scene for a while while in China and is now back in Italian football with Roma.
Trademark El Shaarawy. ™️#ASRoma
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 13, 2023
“Adnan is a beautifully balanced player,” Sir Alex Ferguson told reporters in 2013. “He’s only 18 and has to grow into his frame but he has good balance, good acceleration and is a very good technical player.”
Januzaj’s early days at Old Trafford were absolutely box office and the hype quickly went into overdrive. However, the Belgian youngster started to slip down the pecking order under Louis van Gaal and he was subsequently sent out on loan before he was sold altogether.
Despite not making the grade at Old Trafford, Januzaj has enjoyed success elsewhere in Europe, albeit not quite at the level that was originally expected of him.
Schalke’s track record when it comes to developing youngsters is second to none. The Bundesliga side pumps out gems on the regular and plenty of people thought that Meyer was the next big thing back in 2014.
The midfielder stuck around at Schalke for six years before making his move to Crystal Palace in 2018. After short stints in Denmark and Turkey, he now plays for Swiss outfit FC Luzern.
“If I could go back in time I would change 90% of my life,” Morrison said in 2021. “But you have to look forward, you can’t think about the past too much.”
We’ll be impressed if you can name even half of the teams the former Man Utd youngster has played for throughout his career.
The Brazilian midfielder has been in and around superstars throughout his entire career, but he’s never quite been the main man himself. In his eight seasons with Barcelona, he made just 90 appearances but managed to win 13 trophies along the way.
A short stint with PSG followed his time in Spain and he now plays in the Qatar Stars League for Al-Arabi aged 30.
The Argentine winger impressed in the youth ranks at Valencia and it wasn’t long before he was given his chance in the first team. The initial hype surrounding the youngster eventually died out following a couple of uneventful loan spells.
He’s spent the last four years playing in the UAE Pro League after falling down the footballing ladder in Spain.
Juan Fernando Quintero
As a teenager, Quintero was considered one of the brightest South American prospects and was already drawing comparisons to Lionel Messi due to his wand of a left foot.
However, despite the early signs of promise, Quintero’s career in Europe petered out by 2015 and he has since been playing in South America and Asia.
— River Plate (@RiverPlate) September 29, 2022
Going off everything Kovacic has achieved in his career, it’s hard to argue he’s not fulfilled his potential. He’s played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, won the biggest prizes on offer at club level and is still going strong today.
He’ll no doubt add plenty more trophies to his cabinet with Man City and we can’t get enough of him right now in this Pep Guardiola system. He’s also been fantastic on the international stage and regularly puts in starring performances for Croatia.
It’s no surprise that the most successful portion of his career came in his early days with Real Madrid. The winger was by no means a regular in the Madrid set-up, but he did contribute in some way to the five trophies he won.
After leaving his boyhood club in 2016, Jese has become somewhat of a journeyman. He’s had stints in France, England, Portugal, Turkey and now finds himself in Italy.