THEN AND NOW: What the world’s greatest soccer stars looked like at the start of their careers


Lionel Messi’s appearance may have dramatically changed, but his magical soccer skills certainly have not.


Cristiano Ronaldo: teenage heart-throb in 2003, teenage heart-throb in 2019.

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Reuters/Marcos Borga/Getty/Marco Canoniero

Robert Lewandowski was once a pencil-thin teen, but he’s now one of the world’s most revered goalscorers.

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Getty/EuroFootball/Christof Stache

Few things in life are certain other than death, taxes, and Sergio Ramos getting sent off in El Clasico (it’s happened five times).

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Getty/Denis Doyle/TF Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic made a name for himself scoring crazy goals with Ajax from 2001 to 2004, and he’s been doing the same ever since.

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Getty/Adam Davy/Shaun Clark

Mohamed Salah is barely recognizable from his days as a youngster at FC Basel

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Getty/Nigel French/Chloe Knott

Neymar has added a beard and tattoos these days, but he still had a mullet back in 2009.

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Getty/Mauricio Lima/Soccrates Images

12 years apart, same old Luis Suarez — he’s scored 466 career goals to date.

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Getty/VI Images/NurPhoto

Eden Hazard still wears the same number for Belgium, but he’s grown up a lot since making his debut in 2008.

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Getty/Photonews/MB Media

Diego Costa has aged incredibly well given that he was just 21 in the left hand picture.

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Getty/John Walton/Quality Sport Images

Now a man of many haircuts, Paul Pogba was keeping it simple as youngster with Manchester United in 2009.

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Getty/Mike Egerton/Barrington Coombs

Other than dying his hair and growing a beard, not much has changed about Sergio Aguero since he started his career at Independiente 16 years ago.

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Reuters/Marcos Brindicci/Getty/Paul Ellis