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5 players who can break the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly  

Omene Osuya
Top 5 / Top 10
52.95K   //    29 Sep 2017, 10:33 IST

The demi gods: Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo have made football their playground
The demigods: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have made football their playground

When historians compile data on various golden eras in football, the years from 2008 up until probably 2019 will simply be known as the Cristiano Ronaldo/Lionel Messi years.

Such has been the dominance of these two footballing legends that one of the greater arguments over these last 9 years has been the identity of the third best player in the world.

Various players have staked claims to this funniest of thrones but none has delivered with the consistency required to get to the level of the aforementioned duo and make the Dynamic Duo into the Terrific Trident.

Fernando Torres, Arjen Robben, Luis Suarez, Franck Ribery, Neymar, Sergio Aguero, Andres Iniesta are some of the world-class names that have struggled in the shadows of the great duo.

Like every other thing in life, Father Time is beginning to remind us that these two legends are slowly but surely approaching the twilight of their careers.

Nature abhors a vacuum and some of the lesser (in comparison to Cristiano and Leo of course) are beginning to stake their claims to the Iron Throne. Here, we will take a look at five of them.

#5 Isco (Real Madrid and Spain)

The natural successor to Don Andres Iniesta, Isco will look to exceed his idol's lofty achievements
The natural successor to Don Andres Iniesta, Isco will look to exceed his idol's lofty achievements

Like other players on this list, Francisco “Isco” Román Alarcón Suárez has been compared to a star player way before he became the star he is today. Isco has been compared to Nou Camp legend Andres Iniesta from his youth setup days at Valencia.

Close control, neat dribbling, chance creation and a decent scoring record have made Isco into one of the top midfielders but the journey hasn’t always been this smooth.


After his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2013, Isco meet a team full of class and initially struggled to nail down a spot. After being underused by a succession of Real Madrid coaches; Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane (initially), the native Andalusian has embraced the challenge of playing for the world’s biggest club and is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

A firm fan favourite, Isco has everything in his locker to emulate the great No 10s in recent history; Zidane, Del Piero, Totti and surpass these legends.

He has become a key player in the Spanish national team setup and will be looking to stake his claim to the seat of his idol, Messi by adding to his already impressive trophy haul.

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Omene Osuya
Well, I love football (a look at my body of work tells a better story). However, I also love other sports and from time to time, pen articles concerning basketball, tennis, boxing, and e-sports. I follow these sports as much as I can, this explains why I write on a lot of different topics ranging from analysis and tactics to transfers and a whole lot more (reviews, previews and everything in between). Real Madrid is the team closest to my heart (same goes for Rafa Nadal, Raul Gonzalez, Mike Tyson, Mortal Kombat and the San Antonio Spurs).
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