My buddy Louis Hernandez Jr and myself watch a huge amount of football, probably too much if truth be told and such is the way with this beautiful game of ours, we disagree on just about everything. Something which we have slightly agreed on recently was our debate about who will take the mantle from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as their careers come to a close. The first thing that we should mention is that nobody will replace these two, and we should all enjoy the final years of being blessed by such special talents at the same time. Their records will stand for a very long time indeed, but there has to be a king in this game, so who will it be when these two call it a day?
The obvious choice would be Paris St. Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, a young man who has already left his mark on the game after his scintillating performance in France’s World Cup win in the summer. Mbappe has it all, sheer pace, brute strength and a signature style which sees him terrorize defenders from the right wing position. Strangely, and despite his goal scoring record, Mbappe could probably do with improving his finishing which will of course come in time. If there is anyone who will get close to the legends of Messi and Ronaldo, it will likely be the Frenchman.
Neymar is now 27 years of age and for a long time many assumed that he was next in line for the throne. The problem is however, that despite his excellent work with the Brazil national side, his career hasn’t quite gone as expected. For Barcelona he won La Liga twice and the Champions League once, the Champions League success was in a team with Messi, Iniesta and Xavi, which makes his own contribution less impactful and whilst they did well to win La Liga twice, he never really stood out as the star, given that he was in Messi’s shadow. When the time came to step out of Messi’s shadow he took the easy option, the riches of Paris St Germain. At PSG he has won a treble but in the eyes of the world, that isn’t difficult to complete in the French league, especially not with the players that PSG have managed to buy. Neymar needs to prove himself again to be considered in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo, but nobody will be likely to pay the contract which he has at PSG, it all could have been so different.
As a Spurs fan it is very difficult to say this but if Harry Kane moves to a Real Madrid, Barcelona or even perhaps Man City, he could very well take the mantle of Messi and Ronaldo. Kane will never play like those guys of course but in terms of goal scoring figures, he could most definitely challenge. Nobody wants to see Kane go but he has so much talent that he deserves the success that a move would bring. If Kane were to get into a team like Real and Barca have had in recent years, there is nothing to stop him reaching those dizzying heights, and he certainly has the ambition to do so.
Who do you think the next big thing is? If you want to hear more on this topic from Street Talk Live, feel free to contact us.