It would be recalled that Lionel Messi, Mikel Obi and Taiye Taiwo all got to the spotlight almost at the same time.
But, while Messi rose to be one of the greatest footballer of all time, Mikel and Taiwo are and will continue to be of little relevance to the football world.
Nigerians have now taken to the social media to reacts to a throwback picture of the three players.
The trio were the best players at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which was hosted by the Netherlands.
Argentina won the competition for a seventh time under Messi’s leadership, defeating Nigeria 2-1 in the championship match.
The 18-year-old added two more goals from the penalty spot, bringing his total to six, and went on to win the competition’s best scorer honors.
He eventually won the tournament’s top prize, the golden ball, while 18-year-old Nigerian Obi took home the silver ball as the runner-up.
The bronze ball was claimed by Taiwo, who was around 20 years old at the time. After about 17 years, Obi is now retired, but Messi is still playing at the highest level.
La Albiceleste, under his 35-year-old leadership, recently won the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Additionally, he is certain to capture his ninth Ballon d’Or trophy.
Last year, Taiwo joined the Finnish club SalPa, and has managed to feature in just six matches for the club. He is now 37 years old.
Nigerians reaction to throwback photo of the trio as compiled by Sport Brief:
Nigerians have taken to social media to react to the old photo of the stars.
“Them never use correct age, that be why them all retire long time. You can’t cheat nature.”
“I remember this tournament so well. Taiwo played a goal kick from his end. It ended far beyond Argentina’s goal. Goal kick to Goal kick.”
A fan queried:
“Please where is Taye Taiwo and Mikel Obi?
“I thought they were once Messi’s age mates in under age football? “Abi Nigeria football different from other countries own?”