The obscure Liverpool duo once named among world’s most exciting teenagers

In 2007, two Liverpool players featured in World Soccer magazine’s list of the top 50 most exciting teenage footballers in the world, but where are they now?

As is often the case with such predictions, many of the players on this list didn’t go on to fulfil the talent they were once credited with.

The player the magazine crowned the most exciting teenage footballer in the world in 2007 was striker Sadick Adams who, having been with Atletico Madrid at the time, has since gone on to play for more than 10 other clubs in nations such as Tunisia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Ghana.

Some of the other players included on the list have forged more successful careers, such as Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria.

But what of the Liverpool players included?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, April 27, 2009: Liverpool's Gerardo Alfredo Bruna Blanco in action against Waterloo Dock during the Liverpool Senior Cup Final at the Arriva Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The player who ranked 10th in the list of 50 players was former Reds academy midfielder Gerardo Bruna, who was with the club for four years between 2007 and 2011.

When this list was published, Bruna had just joined Liverpool having spent five years in the youth set up at Real Madrid.

Despite being born in Argentina, Bruna represented Spain, the country he grew up in, at under-17 level, before appearing for Argentina U20s in 2009.

A left-footed, creative midfielder who specialised in set pieces, he was a regular for Liverpool’s reserve team, helping them win the Premier Reserve League in his first season with the club.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, April 27, 2009: Liverpool's players celebrate winning the Liverpool Senior Cup after their 1-0 victory over Waterloo Dock during the Liverpool Senior Cup Final at the Arriva Stadium. Manager Gary Ablett, Krisztian Nemeth, Daniel Pacheco, Vitor Flora, Jay Spearing, Victor Palsson, Damien Plessis, captain Stephen Darby, Mikel San Jose Dominguez, Godwin Antwi, goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Steven Irwin, Vincent Weijl, Martin Hansen, Gerardo Bruna, Emmanuel Gomis Mendy, Andras Simon, fitness coaches Gerard Nus and Gonzalo Rodriguez. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, having failed to make a first-team appearance, Bruna eventually left to join Blackpool on a permanent deal in the summer of 2011.

There, he made just four appearances in the space of two years, and was released in 2013.

He has since had spells with Huesca, Tranmere, Whitehawk, Accrington Stanley, Ottawa Fury, Derry City, Shelbourne and, at the age of 32, is now playing for Northern Irish, semi-professional football side Dungannon Swifts.

In November of last year, Bruna went viral for scoring a goal from inside his own half for Dungannon, who are the same team Liverpool signed current academy prospect Conor Bradley from in 2019.

The other Liverpool player included on the list at the time was Nikolay Mihaylov, who was ranked 36th.

Despite not making the cut with the Reds, Mihaylov has certainly enjoyed more success at a professional standard than Bruna.

Grenchen, Switzerland - Tuesday, July 17, 2007: Liverpool's goalkeeper Nikolay Mihaylov before a pre-season friendly against SV Werder Bremen at Stadion Bruhl. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Bulgarian goalkeeper joined Liverpool from Levski Sofia as an 18-year-old in 2007, in the same transfer window Bruna also arrived at Anfield.

However, having spent pre-season with the Reds that summer, it soon became apparent that Mihaylov didn’t qualify for a British work permit, which led to a season-long loan to FC Twente in the Netherlands.

That move was further extended the following year, and made permanent in 2010.

Nowadays, Mihaylov is playing the top tier of Bulgarian football as captain of Levski Sofia, and has 46 caps for his country.

Neither has quite reached the heights that were once predicted of them, but it’s good to see both still playing. Now there’s a throwback!