Sports stars when they were young

Ever wondered what Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton or Lionel Messi were like when they were kids? We take a look at several big names in the world of sport when they were still little.

The Williams Sisters

This Trans World Sport feature on Venus and Serena Williams from 1992 sees the siblings’ father Richard accurately predict that his daughters – aged 11 and 12 at the time – would both become future champions, and that Serena would probably turn out to be the better player.

Serena, meanwhile, cites her backhand down the line as her best weapon – a shot that would become her trademark in the years to come.

Tiger Woods

While some people only start realising their potential later in life, others seem to have greatness thrust upon them from a very young age.

In 1981, a five-year-old Tiger Woods appeared on an American TV show called ‘That’s Incredible’.

The topic of the show was Woods’ prodigious talent on the golf course – a talent that would see him go on to capture an incredible 14 major titles and utterly dominate men’s golf for more than a decade.

As the clip shows, Woods’ late father played a massive role in his early development, guiding him towards the sport from the moment he could hold a club.

Lionel Messi

The folks at Barcelona recently unearthed this gem from their archives – footage of a 15-year-old Lionel Messi playing for their youth academy.

Only a year later, the Argentinian’s incredible talents would see him elevated to Barca B, with the big leagues beckoning soon after. The rest, as we know, is history.

Lewis Hamilton

“My kart feels very powerful when I’m in it,” says a 12-year-old Lewis Hamilton before his eyes light up: “But imagine being in a Formula One car.”

This 1997 feature on the future F1 champion, which also includes an interview with his father, provides another fascinating insight into the seeds of a sporting great’s success.

David Beckham

Here’s a short but fascinating clip of a 12-year-old David Beckham being asked why he is special in the sports world.

The interviewer couldn’t have known just how ‘special’ the future Manchester United legend would become.

Steph Curry

He may only have become the finished product in the last year or two, but Steph Curry predicted his future NBA success when he was only 14 years old.

Asked if he got into baseball like his father, Curry sheepishly admits that it’s basketball he really loves before displaying his shooting prowess for the cameras – something he’d make a habit of doing in the future.

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