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Five Famous Footballers Who Began As Ball Boys

Some of the world’s top footballers didn’t begin their careers as first-choice players, but rather as ball boys.

Below are five players who started out fetching balls and went on to become top players in their own right.

Phil Foden

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Manchester City’s Phil Foden once served as a ball boy. He was also a mascot for City in an English Premier League match against Sunderland in 2007. Foden shared a throwback photo of himself as a ball boy after scoring a stunning goal against City rivals Manchester United in February 2021.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

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Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is currently on loan at Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, also began his career as a ball boy. During a match against Manchester United in 2014, former Cameroon international Samuel Eto’o celebrated one of his goals with Hudson-Odoi.

Matthijs de Ligt


Bayern Munich and former Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt, too, was once a ball boy. A photo of young de Ligt and former Ajax star Luis Suarez has been widely shared on social media platforms, showing how the Dutch defender started out as a mere spectator before becoming one of the world’s top defenders.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

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Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold began his career at Liverpool’s academy at the age of six and later served as a ball boy for the club in 2014. He worked his way through the youth ranks to become a dependable player for the reds.

Donny van de Beek


Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek also started his career as a ball boy. Van de Beek was once pictured with Luis Suarez while performing ball boy duties.

Also Read: Meet 5 Football Players Who Have Been Convicted for murder

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