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