4. Lionel Messi (River Plate)
Messi’s name is rarely included in a sentence without many superlatives around it. As in the case of Griezmann, the Argentinian prodigy was told that he was too small to play football professionally.
According to reports, at the age of 8, River Plate decided that the £500-a-month cost of hormones that the youngster needed was not a sum that could be justified and as a result, he remained at his beloved Newell’s Old Boys. 2 years later, he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency and his father’s health insurance could only cover a part of Lionel’s expensive hormone treatment.
A few years later, Barcelona agreed to pay his health bills and in 2000, Messi became a member of La Masia. He is now considered one of the two greatest players in our generation and one of the best ever.
3. Ronaldo Nazario (Flamengo)
‘The Phenomenon’ faced rejection very early in his career. Ronaldo was born in Rio De Janeiro and opted to join his favorite Flamengo where his football idol, Zico, had amazed the masses during the 1980s. However, it was not meant for him to follow in Zico’s footsteps.
According to reports, Ronaldo was invited to a trial by Flamengo and after a great performance, he was instructed to come back for a second trial the day after. Yet, he could not afford the bus ticket to Flamengo’s training ground and as a result, the club decided not to give him a second chance to prove his worth. He was never invited back.
Luckily for him and for all of us, Ronaldo signed instead for Sao Cristovao where Jairzinho, the former Brazil player, was in charge and he was the one to suggest Cruzeiro proceed with his signing.
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