DERRY CITY's talented midfielder, Gerardo Bruna once ranked above South American superstars, Alexis Sánchez and Ángel Di María and World Cup winners, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema in a list of the most exciting teenagers on the planet.
In fact the former Real Madrid and Liverpool youth was voted a lofty No. 10 in World Soccer Magazine's infamous 'Top 50 Most Exciting Teenage Footballers' in 2007.
Bruna, who recently committed his future to Derry City until the end of the 2020 season, was in esteemed company in the top 10 alongside the likes of Man City and fellow Argentine, Sergio Aguero (7th) and 'Galactico' Gareth Bale (6th) who was at Tottenham Hotspur at the time the list was compiled.
Champions League winning manager with Liverpool, Rafa Benítez was responsible for signing Bruna from Real Madrid's youth set-up at the age of 16.
Bruna, who was born in Argentina and raised in the Canary Islands, was involved in a tug of war between football giants, Liverpool and Madrid and capped by both Spain and Argentina. He was recently described by Benítez as "a very young, talented player with very good technique," and "a nice lad in the dressing room."
Once dubbed 'The Madrid Messi', Bruna left Liverpool for Blackpool and went on to represent Spanish side, Huesca, Tranmere Rovers, non-League Whitehawk, Accrington Standley and Ottawa Fury in the North American second tier.
It was in Canada where he met ex-Derry City defender, Shane McEleney and was advised to take up the offer to play in the League of Ireland top flight with the Candy Stripes once Declan Devine and his backroom staff came knocking.
After a slow start to his City career, the stylish midfielder went on to become a key player in the Brandywell club's successful quest for European football, playing 26 times and scoring a 'Goal of the Month' contender against St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park with a sublime free-kick into the bottom corner from 30 yards.
Incidentally, on top of World Soccer Magazine's list in 2007 and ranked as the most exciting teenage footballer on the planet was Athletic Madrid's Sadick Adams.
The Ghanaiandidn't exactly take the route to stardom predicted, however, as he failed to represent Athletico and moved on to Serbian side FK Vojvodina and at the age of 29 last season was plying his trade with Lebanese side, Shabab El-Bourj Sporting Club.
Others on the list including Alexandre Pato, Giovani dos Santos, Bojan, Anderson Fabio Coentrao, Marouane Fellaini, Toni Kroos, Juan Mata, Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic and Theo Walcott all went on to enjoy varying degrees of success in the game.
The top 10 Most Exciting Teenage Footballers' in 2007 were - 1, Sadick Adams (Athletico Madrid); 2, Ismail Aissati (PSV Eindhoven); 3, Alexandre Pato (AC Milan); 4, Anderson (Manchester United); 5, Giovani dos Santos (Barcelona); 6, Gareth Bale (Spurs); 7, Sergio Aguero (Athletico Madrid); 8, Bojan Krkic (Barcelona); 9, Breno Borges (Sao Paulo); 10, Gerardo Bruna (Real Madrid).