Manchester United sought to tie up a deal this week to sign highly talented Chilean forward Angelo Henriquez and after hearing the news; the thought of another Chilean prospect popped into my mind.
It soon became apparent to me that I had not heard his name linked with any big names in the recent past and that in fact I had heard very little about him for many years. The player in question is Nicolas Millan.
His background reads like the start of many a fledging career, he made a stellar start at his hometown side Colo Colo rising through the ranks with his tricky play and eye for goal. So much so in fact that he made his debut for the first team as a substitute against Santiago Wanderers at a remarkably young age of just 14 years 9 months and 3 days, becoming one of the youngest footballers in modern day professional football.
What is even more amazing is that appearance is now 6 years ago and Nicolas has yet to play a single other game for Colo Colo.
Since that game he has had unsuccessful loan deals at Argentine sides Club Rivadavia and Atletico Tigre; failing to make a league appearance let alone impact at the 2 sides. Last season he spent the year on loan at Chilean second division side Deportes Naval where he finally got a run in the team and even scored a goal or two.
Yet is a long way away from the future that was tipped for him. The next ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ who was reportedly on trial at Chelsea, Inter Milan and Everton and scored 4 goals in 3 appearances for Chile’s Under 17 side.
It is a stark warning that at such a young age nothing is set in stone, despite adding 5 inches to his height since the days of his debut he still stands at only 5t 10, average you may say in modern football terms but late development may have cost him.
The next Cristiano Ronaldo billing was based largely on the incredible stepovers the Chilean could produce. 6 years on from then and it would take a lot more to be considered the next Ronaldo. An unstoppable force in front of goal, incredible physical specimen, mental toughness, free kick specialist and formidable aerial threat may get you that accolade; all though have come from Ronaldo’s very own insatiable work ethic.
Nicolas Millan just like Freddy Adu, Kerlon and many others appears to have been touted too soon in this internet age for future stardom and is a warning sign to the next prodigy named the next Messi, Iniesta or Ronaldo; that it takes more than just talent to achieve superstardom.
Take a look at Nicolas Millan in this video...
image: © markscottjohnson