The debate of who is a better player between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the most controversial topic in football and arguably in Sports as a whole. As football fans, indeed, the names of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are no longer strange to any one of us. Both are great monuments with outstanding personal marks and achievements.
However, all good things must come to an end and with their last season’s performance, both Cristiano and Messi seems to be in the twilight of their career. But as seen in the past, old generations’ demise is new bloods opportunity and football seems to be in good hands (metaphorically legs).
Here are football superstars who could battle for supremacy as the best in the world in the coming future:
Kylian Mbappe v Erling Halaand
Let’s start with the obvious ones – Kylian Mbappe Lottin and Erling Braut Halaand. Kylian Mbappe burst onto the scenes in his breakout campaign as he fired AS Monaco to Ligue 1 glory and Champions League semi-finals which they eventually lost to Juventus. A mega-blockbuster move followed, with PSG paying more than $180 million to acquire his services and Mbappe has never looked back.
Mbappe is now the main man at PSG even with the presence of Neymar and Messi as he penned a new 3-year contract and has authority within the club far beyond a player has ever had in the history of football.
He has got the better of even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi when it comes to the international stage as his goals and firepower propelled France to the 2018 World Cup victory.
As for Erling Halaand, he emerged into the limelight with his goal-scoring prowess in U20 World Cup when he scored nine goals past Honduras. His stars again shined brighter when he scored 8 goals in 6 Champions League matches in his debut campaign and earned a big-money move to Borussia Dortmund the same season’s January window.
Halaand’s goal-scoring record at Dortmund is mind-boggling – He has scored 86 goals in just 89 games and is the fastest player to reach 20 goals in Champions League history. Mbappe has an edge over Halaand when it comes to silverware and fame but with the Norwegian joining Manchester City, the tides can turn at any time.
Vinicius Junior v Ansu Fati
Vinicius Junior has taken his game to new heights this season as he was influential in Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League triumphs. Ansu Fati, on the other hand, has been sidelined by injuries for much of the season and has to watch his Barcelona team struggle on and off the pitch.
Clearly, Vinicius is way ahead of Ansu Fati at the moment of time and comparing both would not make sense to many football faithful. But just one year ago, if we had to pick between Vinicius and Fati, many would have gone with the latter as his stock was high at that moment in time.
Fati, after Messi, was Blaugrana’s second-best player at the start of last season and scored against Real Madrid at his first El Clasico start. Vinicius on the other hand was struggling for consistency and was even not trusted by now partner in crime Karim Benzema at one moment in time
How the table has turned but don’t expect Vinicius to have an easy run for money as the La Masia’s next big thing is coming for his throne.
Darwin Nunez v Raphael Leao
A debate on who’s the best: the Portuguese or the South American? We have been through this and might continue with the emergence of Benfica Hitsman Darwin Nunez and AC Milan star Raphael Leao
Darwin Nunez looks certain to bag a big-money move to Europe’s elite after making a mockery of Liga Nos defenses with his strength, pace and high frame. He has scored 32 goals in 38 league and Champions League appearances and would certainly be at top of his game for many more years to come.
Raphael Leao has written his name in Rossoneri folklore being the focal point of attack as AC Milan defined all odds to win their first Scudetto in 11 years. Leao had 19 goal involvement in 34 league appearances but there still is a sense that he has not reached to his full potential yet.
Sporting Lisbon academy coach, the club from where Leao got his football education prescribed him as the best talent to come from the academy after certain Cristiano Ronaldo. With such high praises, Leao is certain to be a superstar who takes the world by storm.