Five reasons why Rashford - Asensio will be the next Messi - Ronaldo level rivalry
Every year, we see dozens of young footballers making it through the youth ranks and make their first walk into the world of football. While some of them fade away or some never fulfil their potential, some are destined for greatness, since an early age.
Johan Cruyff, George Best, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho were all touted to be legends in their early teens. The current era, however, is ruled by two titans - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both have taken the world by storm and had stamped their authority on the football world ten years ago. Having shown great promise since their tender youth years, they have come far to win probably every big trophy in the game.
But, generations change and nothing lasts forever. Sooner or later, Messi and Ronaldo will call time on their respective careers. The age old Messi-Ronaldo rivalry will finally go behind the curtains. The question is, who should the world look at after they are gone?
Well, the prayers, it seems, have already been answered. Like all the aforementioned legends, it's an era for two youngsters who are bound to reach the zenith in their careers.
Marco Asensio and Marcus Rashford. Even their first names sound somewhat similar. The two kids have achieved things that millions of young footballers can only dream of. But, will they fulfil their potential and succeed Messi and Ronaldo as the next best pair of rivals?
Here, we take a look at some similarities that tell us why Asensio and Rashford could well be the next Messi and Ronaldo.
#5: Playing style
Both Ronaldo and Messi are known for their different, yet devastating player styles. While Ronaldo prefers to use his bag of tricks to bamboozle defenders, Messi relies on his dangerous pace and cutting abilities to beat his opponents. Rashford and Asensio seem to be in the similar league with both Messi and Ronaldo.
In the modern times, Marco Asensio has come closest to the diminutive Lionel Messi in terms of playing style. Like Messi, Asensio is apt at beating defenders with his pace and excellent dribbling skills. Coach Zinedine Zidane further praised the young Spaniard when he said:
"Asensio's left foot is only second to Leo Messi" - Zinedine Zidane
Certainly, a praise like that from the grandmaster himself comes as a huge compliment for Asensio.
On the other hand, Marcus Rashford seems to have been born with Ronaldo's attributes. The wily English forward is difficult to defend with his insane step overs.
Also, Rashford has a blistering pace, similar to that of the former Man United number 7.
"He's a very good young player. I see some of myself in him for sure - he has courage and he's fast and is very good with the ball" - Cristiano Ronaldo
When Cristiano Ronaldo speaks those words about you, you must certainly have the pedigree to be the best.