Pele comparisons unfair says Bahia forward Adu

Freddy Adu says early-career comparisons with Pele were extremely premature and definitely unfair.

The now 23-year old was being touted as the next superstar of the game when he burst onto the MLS scene as 15-year old with DC United but has failed to live up to early expectations.

Since departing Real Salt Lake (who he joined after his DC stint in 2007) for Portuguese giants Benfica, Adu has spent time on loan with Monaco, Belenenses, Aris Thessaloniki and Caykur Rizespor before moving to Philadelphia Union in 2011.

Now he finds himself on loan with Brazilian club Bahia and wanted to make it clear that Pele comparisons were not his doing.

“When you’re 14 and being described as ‘The New Pele’, automatically everybody’s going to look at you and say, ‘Ok, he’s the new Pele, we expect him to go out on the field and dominate games’ and when you don’t do that, people look at you as a failure. It was a little bit unfair,” he told BBC’s Football Focus.

He added of his ‘big’ move to Benfica back in 2007: “There was a lot of big clubs I could’ve joined. But with the help of my family, my agent and my advisers we decided on Benfica.

“We felt it was the best place to develop. It didn’t quite work out that way. I was 18, I was a little immature, but now I’m 23, I’ve seen a lot of how this sport works in Europe and really the rest of the world.”

 
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