The Real Madrid ace was not an outstanding player at the junior level. He was part of the Portugal team that featured in the 2002 UEFA U-17 Championship.
However, his side failed to go past the group phase of the tournament, so one could say that the five times Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t one of the stars among his peers at the youth level.
These Ghanaians were way ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo at youth level.
Nii Odartey Lamptey
He was the eye of the Black Starlets team that won the 1991 FIFA U-17 FIFA World Cup. Odartey’s dribbles, eye for goals and incisive passes caught the attention of the footballing world in Italian 1991.
He inspired Ghana to win the tournament and subsequently emerged as the Player of the tournament.
Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, popularly called Pele in the football cycle tipped him to go places and even emulate his enviable feat at the senior level, but he glittered to deceive.
The man affectionately called the darling boy by Ghanaian soccer lovers. Daniel Addo was a playmaker and a goal-getter for the Black Starlets team of 1993.
He was able to take players on and also move into empty spaces in his quest to get balls at the back of the net, coupled with his accurate shooting to test goalkeepers.
He was called the ‘Disco Dancer’ due his ability to dance with the ball to confuse the opposing side. Issaka is one of the greatest dribblers to have emerged in Ghana football.
It was very difficult to dispossess him without committing a foul and he also made play very easy for his teammates, especially the attackers, because he usually draws players to himself to give a lot of space to operate by his team.
The former Hearts of Oak striker announced himself on the world scene when he scored 7 goals to win the golden boot award in the FIFA U-17 World Cup staged in New Zealand as Ghana finished third.
Addo after the tournament continued his goal scoring form on the domestic for Hearts of Oak, winning the GPL top scorer award for three consecutive seasons- 1999, 2000 and 2001 as an U-20 player.
The former Kessben and Kotoko striker was a torn in the flesh of defenders. Osei was slippery and outwitted his markers with ease when in control of the ball during the 2007 FIFA World Cup in Korea. He managed six goals, but fell one short of Macauley Chrisantus’ seven goals that won him the tournament’s top scorer.