Football has a cyclical nature. The greats of the past paved the way for tomorrow’s superstars. While each footballer is unique, specific characteristics remind fans and viewers of a football legend. Some are strikingly similar to their idols, while others bear an uncanny resemblance that can be seen in minute detail.
We take a look at five players who play in a similar style to football legends:
Number 5: Cristiano Ronaldo – Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe is regarded as the next great football superstar and the man most likely to succeed as the best player in the world.
Mbappe has previously stated that Cristiano Ronaldo is a role model for him. The France international possesses exceptional physical and technical abilities. Given that Cristiano Ronaldo made his name due to his world-class physical capabilities during his prime, Mbappe being compared to Ronaldo is not surprising.
Cristiano Ronaldo is Real Madrid’s all-time leading scorer, and the club sees Mbappe as the heir apparent. The 22-year-old is desperate to move to Madrid and appears set to do so when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires next summer. Los Blancos have made it clear that they want Mbappe, even though the Eden Hazard experiment has been a colossal failure thus far.
Number 4: Ronaldinho – Neymar
Ronaldinho has frequently been portrayed as a stereotypical Brazilian footballer: casual and unconcerned but endowed with an abundance of talent.
Ronaldinho’s on-field performances were frequently interspersed with controversies off the field. Despite this, he is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian footballers. Neymar is similar in many ways. The forward has been compared to Ronaldinho because he is a world-class footballer with excellent dribbling ability, a prolific scorer, and a creator.
Both forwards rose to prominence in Barcelona. While Ronaldinho’s career faded after his time in Spain, Neymar’s is still going strong. The 29-year-old is the most expensive footballer in the world and is a talismanic presence for both club and country.
Number 3: Trent Alexander-Arnold – Dani Alves
Trent Alexander-Arnold is widely regarded as a generational footballer, though such claims have been met with skepticism by some.
Alexander-talent Arnold’s and quality are undeniable. However, given how influential Dani Alves was from right-back for one of the most excellent sides in the sport, claims about Alexander-Arnold transforming the right-back position have been questioned.
Alves was a world-class attacking right-back in his prime, with exceptional creativity, passing, and crossing ability. Alexander-Arnold possesses a similar skill set, and it is safe to say that he is the best right-back in the world. The England international is on his way to becoming one of the game’s all-time greats.
Number 2: Andres Iniesta – Pedri
Barcelona’s dysfunctional nature has been extensively covered. Despite their flaws, they can be justifiably proud of some of their young talent.
Pedri, Ansu Fati, Gavi, and Ronald Araujo have all emerged as vital first-team players during a difficult time for the club. Pedri, in particular, has established himself as a prodigious young talent who will be a fixture in Barcelona’s and Spain’s midfield for many years.
The 18-year-old is composed, calm, and technically superior, distinguishing Andres Iniesta. Xavi, the new manager, has a great relationship with Iniesta, and Pedri should thrive under his tutelage.
Number 1: Diego Maradona – Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi will forever be associated with Diego Maradona. There are startling parallels between the two all-time greats of the game.
Before Lionel Messi, Maradona was widely regarded as Argentina’s most outstanding player. Maradona was a small-framed genius with a low center of gravity that could change the game with a magical run or a beautiful pass. Messi fits the same description perfectly.
Debates rage over who is the better footballer, even though both forwards have indelibly impacted the beautiful game. Unquestionably, Messi is a more disciplined professional than Maradona. Messi, on the other hand, has long been in Maradona’s shadow at the international level.