Football has seen many legendary players and many players who could not handle the pressure. But some footballers are overhyped or overrated by fans.
Many great players have blessed the fans with their fantastic abilities on or off the ball. When fans talk about great players, names like Maradona, Pele, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo come to mind. Fans at times expect great things from a certain player, but they do not turn out as good as they thought. So let us look at some overrated or over-hyped football players of all time.
50 Most Overrated Footballers in the World
50. Kevin Prince Boateng
One of the first names that come to mind when talking about an overrated player. KPB has played at some of the best clubs but has been nowhere to the level fans expected from him.
49. Jack Wilshere
The former Arsenal player was destined for greatness. All the big clubs keeping close eyes on him, but it took one injury, and it was all downhill from there for Wilshere. The England international now plays at Bournemouth. It was the injury that ruined his career.
48. Javier Pastore
When Pastore was at his best, he looked like one of the most graceful players on the pitch. He had a sudden rise to fame and found himself playing for PSG. He was not able to cement his place in Paris. Now he hardly plays for AS Roma.
47. Nicolas Anelka
If people see the clubs he played for, fans would think he was one of the best. The reality was quite different from that. He had all the skills to be the best, but he never really got the most out of his talent.
46. Riccardo Montolivo
Montolivo was a good technician of the ball. Italy is famous for producing midfielders. Even though Montolivo was a good player, he was never really at the top level.
45. Theo Walcott
Walcott’s name on the list might cause some debates, but the fact is he never showcased his talent or reach the level fans expected of him. He was termed as the next big thing, later failing to stand up to the pressure.
44. Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverly got his chance at Manchester United but failed to impress. The fans were behind as there was a lack of options at his position, but Tom never really performed at the Manchester United player level.
43. Martin Demichelis
Manchester City fans don’t have many fond memories of him. The Argentinian was famous for making mistakes in defence, and that continued throughout his career.
He is, to date, one of the most overrated or over-hyped players. The Brazilian caught the eye because of his strength and unique name mostly. He had pace and power but was never to express it on the field.
41. Mario Balotelli
Balotelli is probably still loved by fans because of his charisma and unique style on the field. He was a player who could have been one of the best forwards at the moment but left City. His ego was one of the problems, and that probably cost him his future.
40. Arthur Melo
Arthur is a player who recently joined Barcelona and now plays for Juventus. Barcelona fans were overjoyed with his signing and termed him as the next big player. But Arthur’s performance could not make a name for himself at Barcelona and the same at Juventus.
39. Anthony Martial
Martial currently plays for Manchester United. The Frenchman is still young, but at the moment, he is not on the path that fans destined him to travel. His performances have not been amazing as they were expected to be.
37. Gareth Bale
The Real Madrid outcast had to make a list. Fans all over Europe though he will be the heir after Messi and Ronaldo. His time at Spurs made him famous, but at Real Madrid, it all went wrong. Still playing in Spain, can he bring some justice to his fans.
36. Michael Carrick
The Manchester United star was part of the core team for a long time. Not one of the starters but was given many chances to prove himself. He never managed to hit the top form.
35. Philippe Coutinho
Barcelona signed Coutinho from Liverpool for a record fee. His form at Anfield before he left was amazing, hitting his peak. The switch to his favourite club was not the correct decision after all. He never managed to find his form, had a loan spell at Bayern Munich and transferred from Camp Nou.
34. Olivier Giroud
Looking from the surface, Giroud’s career is illustrious, but when looked closely, he is an overrated player.
33. Edin Dzeko
Many will argue for him, but the fact is, Dzeko is an overrated player. Not able to showcase much at Manchester City and now at AS Roma.
32. Radamel Falcao
Similar to Giroud, Falcao has played at top clubs. He rose to fame at Atletico Madrid, but that fame was short lasted. Still loved by fans. He never will always be an overrated player.
31. Shinji Kagawa
Kagawa is one of the few who make it from Asia. Fans thought Kagawa would be the player to help Manchester United reach their best again, but that was not the case. Now playing at Dortmund, Kagawa never lived up to the hype.
30. Gerard Pique
The Barcelona veteran is rated higher than he should be. The fans love him, but the fact is after Puyol, Pique has never been the same. Barcelona has faced their worst defeats with him at the heart of their defence.
29. Emre Mor
The Turkish international was deemed to be the best young player in world football. Slowly attracting the attention of fans, he was not able to rise to their hopes. Still very young, Mor can change his fate, but that looks unlikely.
28. Edgar Davids
Famous as the player who played with glasses. He was a great defensive midfielder, no doubt but the amount of media and fans hyped him was not correct.
27. Roberto Carlos
Many would disagree here as he is one of the best Brazilians. He was a good defender, but the only thing that stands out is his freekick when looking at his career. Not one of the best defenders, surely overrated.
26. Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez has played for the best clubs, Barcelona, Arsenal and Manchester United. He was in a strike partnership with Messi at Barcelona, still loved by Arsenal and Barcelona fans. The same cannot be said for United fans, where his decline started instead of the hype around him.
25. Paul Scholes
One of Manchester United legends, Scholes, was a great midfielder. He played in the best era of United and was a key player. At times fans rate him a lot higher than what he deserves. No doubt he was good, but not as much said.
24. Ivan Rakitic
The former Barcelona player was a signing that brought mixed emotions among the fans. Some thought he was good, and some didn’t—a good player but not the one to enter Barcelona history books.
23. Javier Hernandez
Also known as Chicharito, he has played at Manchester United and Real Madrid but never reached the level the fans expected him. The Mexican was a skilled forward, but it never worked out for him, now playing his final years at MLS.
22. Pavel Nedved
The Ballon d’Or winner is both overrated and hated at the same time. He joins the list of players who should have never won the Ballon d’Or, the former Juventus man had one good season, which made fans rate him highly.
21. Vinicius Junior
The 21-year-old Brazilian was highly rated by Real Madrid fans after signing the young player before Barcelona. The hype around him was unmatched, but that is it. He has not impressed anyone with his performances at Bernabeu. Still very young, he can try to prove his haters wrong.
The La Masia player was termed the next Messi, but that pressure got him. They made few first-team appearances but never lived up to the hopes of fans.
19. Alen Halilovic
Another La Masia player is termed the biggest young star. He is the youngest player to make his debut for Croatia. Halilovic career went horribly wrong as he made his way into the Barcelona first team. Now playing at Birmingham City, the young star crumbled under pressure.
18. Gabriel Jesus
Jesus is still young, but the forward is shockingly very highly rated by fans. He has not yet done anything amazing after playing so many years Manchester City.
17. Hidetoshi Nakata
He won the Serie A with AS Roma in 2001 but was nowhere near a starter. In almost 2 seasons with the Italian side, he only managed 30 appearances. He retired at age 29 because his being Asian makes him highly rated for no reason.
16. David Luiz
The Brazilian is famous for taking down forwards and making mistakes. He also broke the record fee for a defender even after having so many flaws in his game.
15. Jens Lehman
Not a bad keeper but surely not a legendary keeper he is regarded as. At Dortmund, he did not have a great start as he fled on a tram from the stadium. He joined Arsenal, where he had one of the best seasons. He was sent off in a European Cup final, the 1st keeper to achieve this.
14. Mathieu Flamini
Once Flamini was at the level of Fabregas at Arsenal. He was regarded as one of the top talents in the world, but after he left Arsenal for AC Milan, his career never panned out the way fans expected.
13. Jay Jay Okocha
The Nigerian Ronaldinho, Okocha, never achieved much at club level. He was full of tricks, but that was it. Even Bolton fans considered him as inconsistent.
12. Xherdan Shaqiri
The Swiss is one of the most skilful players in the Premier League. He was considered as ‘The Swiss Messi’. Even with his abilities, he lacks consistency and failed to make a name for himself.
11. Alexander Hleb
The 2007/08 season with Arsenal was outstanding for Hleb, then switching to Barcelona. After joining Barcelona, fans hardly ever heard of him, going on loan at many clubs and finally going to Russia after Barcelona refused to renew his contract.
10. Marouane Chamakh
Chamakh joined Arsenal in 2010 and had an impactful start. But after that, he collapsed and never regained the form.
9. Peter Crouch
He was a prolific goalscorer but was at times wasteful. Not involved in the match half the time. Even known to have personality issues, he retired in 2019.
8. Simon Mignolet
The Belgian goalkeeper had a fantastic start at Anfield, the fans loved him. Pulling out some big saves, but it was short-lived. Few mistakes led to a dip in confidence, which he never recovered from.
7. Stewart Downing
Downing had a fan base at Aston Villa. After joining Liverpool, he just lost all his skills. Not involved in matches, not a good goal scorer.
Once one of the best young players in England, Danny Welbeck never lived up to the hype around him. Failing to impress at United and later on at Arsenal, Welbeck was overrated by the fans.
Former Real Madrid and Manchester City star never managed to make the impact he was expected to. Not making the most of his chances would have disappointed the Brazilian. He is surely one of the most overrated players on this list.
5. Samir Nasri
Nasri was an exceptional talent, making it into the year’s team in the 2010/11 season. The Frenchman was an extraordinary talent, but lack of discipline and consistency led to his downfall.
4. John Obi Mikel
One of the strongest midfielders, known for his dirty play. His skills were too highly rated. Not a good passer of the ball and, at times, unreliable.
The Brazilian was one of the most exciting talents in World Football. He was one of Brazil’s star players in the 2014 World Cup, and Chelsea star never reached his full potential. He preferred money over football and left for China. A talent wasted.
2. Joe Cole
Joe Cole should be rated fairly as he is one of the most skilful midfielders to play in the Premier League. A fantastic dribbler and playmaker, injuries were one of the main reasons for his fall from grace.
A player who was meant to be among the elites, a pure talent. His left foot was something many would have dreamed of having. Once part of the formidable Brazil team with Ronaldinho, Kaka and Ronaldo, his off-pitch matters affected his game. The gambling and death of his father did not help him, eventually leading to his fall.