Football is an unforgiving sport.
The best of the best achieve their status through the strength of their mentality, their focus, their dedication to fitness and their will to win as much as the talent they were born with.
Every year new names start to circulate the globe as the hype machine touts more potential superstars. Will they make it to the top? And if they do, how long can they stay there?
Many players possessing all the ability in the world have come and gone without reaching the periods of sustained success that their talent warranted. But they remain in our memories because of the moments of brilliance that they gave us.
Fans cast their minds back and say "he could have been one of the greatest." There is something appealing in their failure. They seem more human than footballers who fulfill their statistical expectations with robotic efficiency.
The following is a list of the top 10 footballers who embody the mystique of the burnout. Some of them were unable to keep themselves at the pinnacle of the game. Others were unable to reach it at all. They are all great players who delivered less than their talent promised.