Okay, not that Cristiano Ronaldo. A player dubbed “New Cristiano Ronaldo.”
For those of you who may not be familiar with Ocampos, here’s a quick bio.
Lucas Ocampos is a 17-year-old forward who made his professional debut with River Plate in August of last year. Ocampos has made 24 appearances for Los Millionarios in his young career, scoring six goals. Lucas is also part of the Argentina U17 national team. He’s made eight appearances and has scored three goals for El Albiceleste.
So why is this kid compared to CR7?
To start, Ocampos plays left winger like Ronaldo. Ocampos’ dribbling is very similar to Cristiano’s—flashy with many bicycles along the way. Lucas is 6’1” just like Ronaldo, thus it’s no surprise that many of Lucas’ goals come via free-header form. Ocampos has a powerful leg and has made golazos similar to the kind Ronaldo has made. Lucas’ speed is not Ronaldo’s, but the kid is still fast. Ocampos is no Angel Di Maria—he is physically strong. Ocampos even has a similar hairstyle to Ronaldo.
With so many similarities in technique, style, height, and so on, it’s no wonder major clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, AS Roma and Inter Milan have all expressed interest in the Argentine dubbed “The New Cristiano Ronaldo” and “Argentine Ronaldo” by the media in South America.
To be fair to both Lucas and Cristiano, Ocampos has similarities to Cristiano Ronaldo, but by all means Lucas Ocampos is no Cristiano Ronaldo. He is still a raw talent that is no where close to CR7. Will Ocampos have a career like Ronaldo’s? Who knows.
But the kid as a lot of potential and will have an excellent career regardless of whether he matches CR7’s accomplishments. Even if he’s half as good as Ronaldo, I don’t know too many teams that wouldn’t take him.
He’s only 17. He will grow in height, and in game.
Barcelona is reported to have already made contact with River Plate to discuss a possible transfer this summer. It is rumored that River Plate value Lucas Ocampos at €20 million. El Blaugrana is reported to have a summer transfer budget of €50 million.
I believe this kid is the real deal. I’ve seen his play, and at 17, he’s not too far from being ready to play in Europe. He’s probably two years away from being a regular starter in a big club. He’s clearly the best young player in Argentina and someone who could grow into a top winger in Europe.
Check out Lucas' golazo in the video.
Fellow countryman Lionel Messi would mentor this kid and, in my opinion, Ocampos and Messi would one day be the best winger combination in La Liga.
For me, La Liga and its style of play is the best fit for Ocampos.
Lucas is not as good a winger-striker as Neymar—the best player in South America—but Lucas is a dynamic player who deserves having teams bid on his talent.
If I was Sandro Rosell, I’d sign Valencia's Jordi Alba first and then attempt to sign Lucas Ocampos as an investment for the future. Lucas can play striker and there are many games where the team has needed a pure striker to put the ball in the net. Also, remember that Pep Guardiola will not always be the coach and perhaps a future manager will run a system that needs a taller striker.
Would I rather have Lucas Ocampos than Neymar? No. The better player is obviously Neymar, who has 14 goals in 14 games for Santos this year.
But if Barcelona is looking for a dynamic winger who would come at a much lower price than Neymar, they need to sign Lucas Ocampos.
Visca el Barça!
Often imitated by other writers but never duplicated, Xoel!
Follow me on Twitter: @XoelCardenas
Don’t forget to check out my other columns:
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!