Freddy Adu, the Amercian wonder-kid, was expected to be the next big thing and blossom into a global superstar after starring in the FIFA U17 World Championship as a fourteen year old and trialling for Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.
He even filmed a commercial for soft drink Sierra Mist with Brazilian legend Pele - he literally had the world at his feet.
Just over a decade later, and the striker looks on the verge of signing for his 14th club of an underwhelming career. Reports suggest the 28 year old is in talks with Swedish third division side Oskarshamns AIK and it is understood he will be flying out next week to formalise the deal.
According to Aftonbladet a contract is on the table and if signed by the USA international, he can tick off another country from the ever expanding list, having played in eight different countries in his relatively short professional career.
🇺🇸🇵🇹🇫🇷🇬🇷🇹🇷🇧🇷🇸🇮🇫🇮— Steve Greenwood (@SM_Greenwood) December 30, 2017
All the countries the once much hyped Freddy Adu has played in since his debut in 2004. Still only 28, apparently he's now off to 🇸🇪 and third division club Oskarshamns AIK. Surely the biggest flop in ⚽️ history?
Having been out of contract since leaving Tampa Bay Rowdies earlier this year, as well as unsuccessful trials with Portland Timbers and Polish outfit Sandecja Nowy Sacz, he is now poised to return to football in what could be his most bizarre move yet.
Adu's playing career is likely to be regarded as unfulfilled potential. After scoring four goals as a 14-year-old at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Championship, there was real excitement surrounding him. Aged just 16, he had scored 11 goals and 17 assists in MLS between 2004 and 2006.
It looked like his career was finally taking off on the larger stage as the attacking midfielder signed for Portuguese giants Benfica in 2007, but after loan spells at Monaco, Belenenses and Çaykur Rizespor, he moved back to the MLS after scoring just two goals for the Águias.
Philadelphia Union offered him the opportunity to get back on track, however for whatever reason it just didn't materialise. He was then involved in a swap deal to Bahia, which saw former Manchester United flop Kleberson head in the opposite direction.
From then on, Adu has had a series of short, unfulfilled stints at clubs which is ultimately a reflection of his whole playing career to date. He desperately needs to find a club where he feels comfortable and plays regularly, he is still young and his ability is unquestioned.
Perhaps his focus and desire has been distracted along the way? However the move to Scandinavia could be exactly what the American needs to reinvigorate his frustrating career, it just takes him out of the footballing spotlight.