Almost every kid wishes to have a photo with sports stars or get their autographs. Some of them, though, don’t even imagine that they will become stars themselves in future. We collected the TOP 5 stories about those sportsmen who met renown sports stars in their childhood and then managed to climb to the top of the sports world themselves.
Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling, 21 years old currently, met his idol Michael Phelps in 2008. That was one of the happiest days in the kid’s entire life. Being impressed with Phelps’ success, Schooling devoted himself to swimming and started to train hard to become a professional swimmer himself. He couldn’t even imagine then that one day he will take part in the Olympics. Moreover, as an irony of fate, Schooling beat Phelps in 100 m butterfly to win the gold medal. Days later, Phelps posted a picture with Schooling and wrote, “‘What a race!! Congrats to @josephschooling !!! We’ve got an updated pic!! Best of luck bro!! I’ll be watching!’
A young Mateo Kovacic was serving as a ball boy in Croatia when Liverpool visited the country. After the game, Kovacic ran towards Steven Gerrard and wanted to shake the hand of a man, who was famous not only in England but around the world, too. Steven, however, didn’t pay attention to the kid, breaking his heart, which left Mateo with tears. Later on, Mateo Kovacic became a professional player and joined Inter Milan. Playing for the Italian side, Kovacic has been identified as a potential Steven Gerrard replacement in 2015. However, Kovacic didn’t join Liverpool and decided to make a move to Real Madrid where he still plays.
Football experts were predicting a bright future for a kid named Neymar. He was compared to Robinho with the style of play and with the skills he got. Years later, Robinho joined Santos first team and started to score dozens of goals. Neymar, by his side, experienced hard days in his career and decided to move back to his home country and play for Santos in 2010. It was then when the pair started doing some magic together. Moreover, they played for the Brazil national team too.
Sneijder was a little kid when he had the chance to take a picture with Ajax legend Frank Rijkaard who is considered as one of the best players in his generation. Years later, Sneijder became one of the leading players in Ajax himself, making Real Madrid spend big money on his transfer. He has successfully played not only for these two clubs but for Inter Milan and Galatasaray, apart from being one of the captains and most important players for the Netherlands national team.
Real Madrid started to construct their new training ground in Valdebebas in the early 00’s and officially opened it in 2005. As it usually happens with the construction of new facilities, the first stone was laid in an official ceremony, where many football stars of that time and the past were present, including Alfredo di Stefano, one of the best players in the game’s history. He was responsible for laying the first stone along with a kid from club academy, Daniel Carvajal. They put a Real Madrid jersey under the stone and gave the start of the construction. Years past, and Daniel Carvajal climbed the ladder of club’s academy. Now Daniel Carvajal is a regular started for Real Madrid main team, having won two Champions League titles with the club.
This story is a little bit different from those presented above. Three people feature in this story instead of two: Maxi Lopez, Mauro Icardi and Wanda Nara. Maxi Lopez was playing for Barcelona in mid 00’s, and was famous in his home country, Argentina. A young Argentinian boy, named Mauro, had a chance to get an autograph from Maxi. The latter couldn’t even imagine that years later they will become friends at first and enemies later on. Wanda Nara and Maxi Lopez were married when she met Icardi for the first time. Icardi and Lopez were friends and spent much time together. However, Nara was not indifferent to Icardi. Their relationship started with a little request from Wanda to buy a new Ipad from the US, which was only an excuse for getting in touch with Mauro, as it was revealed later. Since then, their relationship got closer and closer, and one day Wanda and Maxi decided to divorce, despite having three children. Now Wanda and Icardi are together. And not only in life, but in sports, too. Wanda is Icardi’s agent and is one of the most powerful persons in Italy.