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The Next Big Thing: How Football's Wonderkids Lost Their Way

Ryan Baldi

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From the publisher:

The Next Big Thing tells the stories of 15 footballers who were tipped for the top as youngsters yet were unable to fulfil their potential. With each player exclusively interviewed and insight provided by former team-mates, coaches and expert journalists, Ryan Baldi explores the pitfalls facing young players and what happens when plans go awry.

The players featured share much in common, having played for some of the world's biggest clubs - such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Internazionale and Ajax - represented their country at various levels and been tipped for the very top. They all fell desperately short of expectations, but the reasons for their struggles differ greatly.

Myriad factors can prevent gifted young footballers from fulfilling their true potential, from catastrophic injuries to issues of addiction and temptation, from managerial misunderstandings to bad advice and bad decisions. The Next Big Thing uncovers what becomes of football's wonderkids when the stars fail to align

About the author:

Ryan Baldi is a professional sports writer with years of experience covering major live events, interviewing key figures and producing popular and insightful features. His work on football has been featured by respected outlets such as Sky Sports, FourFourTwo, ESPN, Yahoo Sport and Football365. The Next Big Thing is his first book.


Pitch Publishing
22 x 14 cm
256 pages
April 2019