Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Sporting ExcitementSporting Excitement

Premier League

11 players called the ‘next Ronaldo’ include two Man Utd flops, a recent Barcelona signing, and a heir to Ballon d’Or

, 11 players called the ‘next Ronaldo’ include two Man Utd flops, a recent Barcelona signing, and a heir to Ballon d’Or

THE pressure of making it as a top footballer is hard enough as it is.

But when you’ve been (sometimes unfairly) labelled the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’, it’s a tag that can become a burden.

Several players have been called the ‘next Ronaldo’ through the years

These 11 players have all been compared to the Juventus legend early in their career.

And the list includes two Manchester United flops, as well as a rising Portuguese talent Barcelona have spent £28million on, and a future Ballon d’Or winner.

JOAO FELIX

Felix, 20, burst onto the scene with Benfica in 2018-19 – helping the club win the league.

He also became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick in a Europa League aged 19 after a treble against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

That prompted Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to pay £113million for his services last summer.

Having the ‘next Ronaldo’ tag has made the forward a target for hatchet men in Spain, and he was sidelined for a month with an ankle injury suffered against Valencia back in October.

It hasn’t quite happened for Felix at Atletico yet, but if he remains fit and gets a run in the team it will only be a matter of time before he fulfils his potential.

Joao Felix has struggled in his first season at Atletico Madrid

FEDERICO MACHEDA

Being Ronaldo’s team-mate in 2009, perhaps, caused the inevitable comparison.

And the way the Italian striker announced himself in the Premier League with Manchester United caused hysteria.

With the Red Devils trailing Aston Villa 2-1 with 10 minutes to go at Old Trafford, and the title hanging on the line, Macheda was introduced as a sub by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ronaldo scored a late equaliser and then in injury-time Macheda scored a sensational winner, setting himself up with a back heel before curling home.

Now 28, Macheda has rediscovered the goalscoring touch playing for Panathinaikos in Greece via QPR, Doncaster and Italian minnows Novara among others.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Federico Macheda now stars in Greece for Panathinaikos

VINICIUS JUNIOR

The Brazilian wonderkid has yet to hit the heights expected of him at Real Madrid, since his move in 2018.

Los Blancos gave Flamengo £39million for Vinicius Junior when he was a 16-year-old, before he joined the club at the age of 18 – the minimum age for an international transfer.

A year later, he has shown flashes of brilliance in the first team – scoring against Barcelona in March during a 2-0 win.

Similar to Ronaldo in his early years, he’s lightning-quick and a master-dribbler.

Brazilian sensation Vinicius Junior signed for Real Madrid for £39m as a 16-year-old

ANTHONY MARTIAL

French forward Martial, 24, has established himself at Old Trafford as the man most trusted with leading the line for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And this season he has shown he can be more prolific – registering 16 goals in all competitions.

He emerged onto the scene with Monaco, before signing for United in a deal worth £58million in 2015.

It was a fee that ex-manager Louis van Gaal described as “ridiculous”.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Anthony Martial has proved hes capable of leading the line at Old Trafford this season

FRANCISCO TRINCAO

Trincao is expected to join Barcelona and link up with Lionel Messi in July, after agreeing a £28m deal back in January.

Standing 6ft tall, the Portuguese U20 international shares a similar physique to Ronaldo and is strong on the ball.

Able to play anywhere across the front three, he also possesses a special left foot, has a thunderous shot and dribbling skills to die for.

At the 2018 U19 European Championships he won the Golden Boot as Portugal went on to beat Italy 4-3 in the final after extra-time.

Francisco Trincao is joining Barcelona in July

WILFRIED ZAHA

It seems a bit unfair to call Zaha a flop, given his standing in the Premier League today with Crystal Palace.

But his spell at Manchester United from 2013-15 was a disaster.

The last signing Sir Alex Ferguson made before his retirement, Zaha, 27, was never really fancied by David Moyes and was shipped out to Cardiff City on loan before he returned to his spiritual home at Selhurst Park.

It’s been reported that Newcastle United are planning on making Zaha their first big-money signing once their takeover is complete.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Wilfried Zaha is now one of the most feared players in the Premier League

KYLIAN MBAPPE

No longer the ‘next Ronaldo’, Mbappe is a superstar in his own right.

Now the main man at PSG, where the 21-year-old has scored 30 goals in 33 games this season, the France World Cup-winner is seen as Ronaldo and Messi’s heir to the Ballon d’Or.

But former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka sees a different Ronaldo in his make-up… the retired Brazilian one.

“He reminds me of Ronaldo of the 1996 Olympics,” he once said.

“He has the characteristics of a world-class player and he must manage them properly. If he follows Ronaldo’s career, ‘O Phenomenon’, he will be one of the legends that has made history in the sport.”

Kylian Mbappe is the heir to the Ballon d’Or

KAIO JORGE

Chelsea, Juventus, and Bayer Leverkusen are on the trail of Brazilian teen sensation Jorge.

The hotly-tipped 18-year-old is reportedly the best player they’ve seen at Santos since Neymar, boasting quick feet, superb technique and incredible aerial ability.

And at last year’s U17 World Cup he showed he has an eye for goal – netting five times to win the Bronze Boot.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

But it’s too early to say if he really will blossom into the next Ronaldo in the future.

Chelsea are one of the clubs chasing Brazil sensation Kaio Jorge

LUCAS OCAMPOS

Ocampos, now 25, began at River Plate, where he helped the club achieve promotion back to the Primera División with seven goals in 38 games.

His form earned him a £10m transfer to Monaco, and he was soon nominated for the prestigious European Golden Boy award before moving to Marseille in 2015.

Loan spells in Italy at Genoa and Milan didn’t quite get the best out of Ocampos, but after signing for Sevilla in the summer of 2019 he has rediscovered his touch with 12 goals this season.

Lucas Ocampos finds the net for Marseille

GONCALO GUEDES

It was inevitable Guedes would be compared to Ronaldo, given he is Portuguese, is represented by the same agent Jorge Mendes, and has played mostly on the wing in his formative years.

But the 23-year-old failed to live up to the expectations when he transferred to PSG from Benfica in 2017 for a fee of £27m, playing only 13 times before he was moved on to Valencia.

For his country he has proved to be a hero though – scoring the winner against Holland in 2019 UEFA Nations League final.

Goncalo Guedes has shown his quality playing for his country

RAFAEL LEAO

Only 20, Leao has the world at his feet.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

He kicked off his blossoming career at Sporting Lisbon, before terminating his contract in 2018 after he and his team-mates were attacked by fans during a training session.

A brilliant season at Lille, where he scored eight goals in 26 games was enough to earn him a move to AC Milan last summer.

The Portuguese forward has adapted well to life in Italy, but is still yet to make his debut for his country.

Time will tell if he can emulate his great countryman.

Rafael Leao has all the qualities needed to emulate Ronaldo

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

, 11 players called the ‘next Ronaldo’ include two Man Utd flops, a recent Barcelona signing, and a heir to Ballon d’Or

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest

Tennis

BAFFLED tennis fans blasted Alexander Bublik for his ‘idiot’ shot using his HANDLE as he threw away a final. The controversial Kazakhstani star, 25,...

Boxing

BOXER Ebanie Bridges has revealed her three wildest and weirdest fan requests as she also hit back at “jealous” trolls. Bridges is the current...

Premier League

AS comebacks go, this one could make a Hollywood movie. It was only 15 months ago that Christian Eriksen was fighting for his life...

Boxing

FLOYD MAYWEATHER was caught with a brutal right hand by Mikuru Asakura before going on to knockout the Japanese star. The boxing legend produced...

Premier League

FORMER Arsenal and Chelsea hero Cesc Fabregas has criticised modern managers for not having open communication with their players. The Spaniard recently joined Serie...

Horse Racing

LUKE MORRIS, the rider they call ‘The Sniper’, goes into Sunday’s Arc with a horse who has ‘no chinks in her armour’. And, unusually,...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook