7 average players with world-class CVs including Chelsea and Real Madrid flops

It is extremely difficult to reach the top level of professional football, with only the best of the best able to make a career out of the sport.

Even those who struggle to make their mark are still head and shoulders above the vast majority of those who play the game worldwide.

Generally the best will rise to the top through academy pathways and talent identification, but that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes average players can make it to the best clubs in the world, simply through coincidence, mistake or strange circumstances.

Through no fault of their own, some players can get promoted above their station. Here Daily Star Sport brings you seven of the best.

Alvaro Morata

Talent is a subjective concept. Beyond the basic statistics, there is a lot open to interpretation.

That might explain the career of Alvaro Morata, which has polarised opinion ever since he first came through at Real Madrid a decade ago.

Morata is the ultimate confidence player: sometimes he looks the part as a striker, but sometimes he looks completely out of his depth.

What is without doubt is Morata’s personal trophy cabinet, which is bulging with four league titles, six domestic trophies, two Champions League titles and one Europa League trophy from his stints with Real, Juventus and Chelsea.

Thomas Gravesen

Lots of children grow up wishing to play for Real Madrid – and Gravesen fulfilled that dream.

The Danish international had spent five years at Everton when Real surprisingly came calling in January 2005, stumping up just £2.5million for his signature.

Gravesen was an unflashy, defensively-minded midfielder, a style which was completely at odds with Real Madrid during the height of their Galactico era.

He stayed for 18 months before heading to Celtic with his CV suitably bolstered.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

Choupo-Moting is the ultimate team man – an unselfish player loved by his club but ridiculed by others.

The start of the Cameroon international’s career shows a solid if unspectacular player: Hamburg, Mainz, Schalke, Stoke City.

Then in 2018 his agent managed to get his client the move of his dreams, from Stoke to the glitz and glamour of Paris Saint-Germain.

He performed a back-up role to his much more famous team-mates before moving onto Bayern Munich last year to do the same.

During the first 11 years of his career, Choupo-Moting won no trophies; in the last three years he’s won seven and got a Champions League runners-up medal.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Who are the most average players to have turned out for top clubs? Comment below.

Mario Balotelli

Balotelli is a hugely talented player, but also a hugely inconsistent one.

The Italian striker has played for some of Europe’s most prestigious clubs – Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan, Liverpool, Nice and Marseille – but has failed to live up to his big-name billing at any of them.

If any manager could keep him quiet off the pitch then Balotelli could be a world-beater. But as his career history shows, that is easier said than done.

The 31-year-old has won three Serie A titles, the Premier League, the Champions League, the Coppa Italia and the FA Cup.

But the fact he is currently playing for Adana Demirspor, after spells with Monza and Brescia, shows his rollercoaster career.

Fabio Borini

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Borini has played for Milan, Roma, Liverpool and Chelsea during his career.

He has played most of his career as a striker, yet the most goals he’s scored for any club is the 17 netted in 93 appearances for Sunderland.

Borini managed eight in 75 for Milan, three in 38 for Liverpool, 10 in 26 for Roma, and zero in eight for Chelsea.

Still only 30 years old, Borini is now plying his trade for Fatih Karagumruk in Turkey.

Jese Rodriguez

Jese came through Real Madrid’s academy. He won two Champions League titles, La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the Club World Cup with his boyhood club.

Those trophies came despite his underwhelming record of 18 goals in 94 appearances for Los Blancos.

That record was still enough to earn him a move to Paris Saint-Germain, where he made just 18 appearances in four years, going on four different loan spells.

He’s now at Las Palmas, having perhaps found his level aged 28.

Alexandre Pato

Pato was one of Brazil’s original wonderkids, breaking through at Internacional at the age of 16.

He was impressive during his first spell with AC Milan between 2007 and 2013, but ever since he has struggled to reach those heights again.

After playing for Corinthians and Sao Paulo, Pato somehow earned a loan move to Chelsea in January 2016 where he made just two appearances.

Having cashed in with a two-year spell at Tianjin Tianhai in China, Pato is now enjoying himself with Orlando City in MLS.

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