From Hero to Zero: What Happened to Our Favourite Football Talents?

  • Federico Macheda feels going on loan to Italy was the biggest mistake of his life
  • Emmanuel Frimpong had serious injuries and had to retire from football
  • Royston Drenthe’s fed up with football, he’s more into poker these days
  • Former Man Utd player Anderson has only scored one professional goal since his time in England
What happened to Frimpong?
Some expected Frimpong to become an Arsenal legend...

From time to time we see some exciting youngsters in football, who are surely going to shine one day. Sometimes they do make it to the top, but in many occasions, life gets in the way.  Are you interested in what happened to Anderson, Federico Macheda, Emmanuel Frimpong, or Royston Drenthe? Well, let’s find out what they’re up to nowadays. 

There are many talented footballers, who show great potential, but won’t fulfil the expectations later. Some had some great years at huge clubs, but couldn’t settle elsewhere. A couple scored a few wondergoals, but didn’t turn out to be the player everyone thought. A few couldn’t play a hundred games in his career due to injuries or just lost their interest in football. 

In this article we’re going to focus on some of these individuals. Let’s take a look on what happened to Federico Macheda, Royston Drenthe, Anderson and Emmanuel Frimpong. 

What happened to Federico Macheda?

What happened to Federico Macheda
Federico Macheda (jeollo von [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
“Macheda… out to Giggs… good turn by Macheda! Astonishing! The response of champions from a player you might’ve heard of before – you’ve certainly heard of him now!” – commentator Martin Tyler screamed a decade ago at Old Trafford. Italian youngster Federico Macheda was only 17 years old when he found the net against Aston Villa in the very last minute of the injury time. His magnificent goal meant a huge step for Manchester United to defend their title. 

Kiko did receive playing time from Sir Alex Ferguson later, but couldn’t convince the boss. He was sent to six different clubs on loan after he was released from the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave him a chance at Cardiff City, but that move didn’t work out either. Macheda played for Serie B side Novara for a while, then signed for Panathinaikos in Greece. Last year was his second ever season when he managed to score 10 goals. Bet365 expects the former champions to only finish in the 5th place this time. 

“Fergie wanted me to go on loan; I could see that was sensible. Many Premier League clubs came in for me including Everton and Sunderland. But I wanted to play in Italy, in Serie A. Fergie did not agree and said I should play in England, where he could keep an eye on me. He said he didn’t have the same power in Italy. I insisted on Italy and that was the worst mistake of my life.” – Federico Macheda told ESPN

What happened to Emmanuel Frimpong? 

“I believe Frimpong has done really well as well. He is a bit less of a dribbler but he is a fighter and he is a winner.” – said Arsene Wenger in 2010 about a young talent in his squad called Emmanuel Frimpong. The midfielder grew up in North-London, started playing for Arsenal’s academy teams when he was 9 years old. A real Gunner, who managed to make it to the professional team, but spent a very short time on the top. 

While bet365 tipped Arsenal to win trophies, Frimmy had injury-problems that apparently haunted him forever. Many claim he had a difficult personality as well, been sent off on the day of his first Premier League start, when he also clashed with teammate Samir Nasri in the tunnel. Wenger sent him on loan to Wolverhampton, where he faced a serious injury. He also played for Charlton, Fulham and Barnsley before he’s put an end to his time in England.

Frimpong then tried his luck in Russia and spent 2 years at UFA. He later signed for Arsenal Tula (4 matches), then played for Swedish side Athletic Eskilstuna (10 matches), and 12 games for Ermis Aradippou in Cyprus. He suffered a serious knee injury and announced his retirement from football at the age of 27. Frimpong played less than a hundred professional games in his career. Hopefully, he’s going to find himself another profession – already has some experience in rapping.

What happened to Drenthe? 

In 2007, Real Madrid signed Feyenoord’s young Dutch talent, Royston Drenthe. In that year, he played an important part in the Netherlands U21 team, which won the European Championship. Many believed Drenthe had a great potential, online sportsbook sites in the UK tipped him to sign for a Premier League giant club. He ended up in Real Madrid, where people thought he could compete with Barcelona’s new exciting youngster named Lionel Messi. 

They’ve never been so wrong. The youngster failed to prove himself in Madrid very badly. In 2010, on the transfer deadline day, Jose Mourinho have put him out of his misery and told him to pick himself another club in 24 hours. He played for Hercules on loan, then went to Everton, where David Moyes eventually told him to “f**k off” from his club. “You f**k off, bro” – Drenthe responded. 

He later played for Reading, went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, spent a short time in the Middle East. Just 3 days ago the 32-year-old signed for Kozakken Boys who play in the 3rd tier of the Netherlands’ football league system. Drenthe claims he’s “fed up with football”, and that he’s more into poker recently, while we shouldn’t forget about his rap career either. What a flop.

What happened to Anderson? 

Manchester United signed Anderson from Porto back in 2007 when he was 19 years old. He was considered to be a great talent, started in many important games for the Red Devils. By some reason, he had a close relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson. Anderson says that must be because of his efforts to please the gaffer. 

“I played through injuries for him, stayed on the pitch when my legs were cut. I didn’t care. When I was injured, I wanted to come back as soon as possible, but he’d try and stop me. He looked after players so well. I felt that he cared for me. He helped me settle, he gave me new contracts. I can’t thank that man enough for what he did for me.” – Anderson on Sir Alex Ferguson

You can still bet on Manchester United to get back to winning ways on Bet365

The Brazilian midfielder won the Premier League four times, and he’s also a Champions League winner. However, after Fergie’s retirement and Moyes’ short time at United, something happened. In fact, Louis Van Gaal happened. Anderson started to feel that things went too robotic under the Dutchman, and that he had to leave… Never got back to the top again.

After being on loan at Fiorentina and playing 8 games for the club, Anderson got home to play for Internacional. In 2016, when he was 28, he signed for Coritiba FC, who in the Brazilian second division. He was supposed to be in the form of his life. He only scored one goal ever since he left Manchester United. Anderson says he’s proud of his career but wants to be more involved in his children’s life, so he’s planning to retire soon. The 31-year-old currently plays for Adana Demirspor in the Turkish second division. 


Discuss From Hero to Zero: What Happened to Our Favourite Football Talents? | User Rating

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments