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10 Hyped Footballers Who Faded Away

With a player once dubbed the "the next Pele" recently securing a move to a third division team in Sweden, here are 10 footballers who were hyped up, but ultimately lost their shine.

Click through the gallery above to see 10 hyped players who did not fulfil their potential, according to Bleacher Report.

Former USA international Freddy Adu recently joined Swedish third-tier team Osterlen FF, a team that not many would have guessed he would be playing for at 31 years old.

Adu burst on to the scene in America as a teenager, and was widely considered one of the best young footballers in world football at the time, leading to many dubbing him "the next Pele".

In 2003, the attacking midfielder became the youngest player ever to sign a professional contract at 14 years old. Today, Adu has just 17 international caps to his name, and has been on the books of many teams around the world, but failed to live up to his early hype.

Former Spain star Gaizka Mendieta could also be thought of as a player who did not fulfil his potential, especially considering he joined Lazio in 2001 for a fee of about €48 million (R932 million) from Valencia.

After just a year, he returned to Spain on a season-long loan at FC Barcelona, where he became a bit-part player, before joining Middlesbrough on a short deal in 2003, and ended up seeing out the rest of his career with the English club.

Ex-Blackburn Rovers midfielder David Bentley struggled to become the footballer he was touted to become, as did ex-Brazil international Robinho. Despite a long career with the Selecao, the skilful forward did not really make the grade at Real Madrid, before spending just a season and a half with Manchester City.

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Following his spell in England, Robinho joined AC Milan, where he won a few trophies but was often accused of not being entirely focused on football. Click through the gallery above to see more players whose careers slowly petered out after being hyped up!

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