Real Madrid Starlet Jese's Ballon D'Or Prediction Is Ambitious but Attainable

Paul WilkesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014


Self-confidence is a vital component for any emerging young player. This, of course, can easily come across as arrogance, as there's a thin line between the two.

If the youngster has the ability to back up what he is proclaiming, then there generally isn't a problem. But if he hasn't got the attributes or the right mentality, then he is simply opening himself up for ridicule.

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner notoriously received plenty of criticism almost four years ago at the age of 22. "If you ask me if I am one of the best strikers in the world, I say yes because I believe it," Bendtner told the Daily Mail.

Did he really need to make this statement? Could he not just think it?

The fact that his career hasn't taken the trajectory he envisaged means it will always be reverted to that quote, even if the quote has been twisted in time.

It still gets laughed about now, with teammate Emmanuel Frimpong Photoshopping the Danish forward's head onto Cristiano Ronaldo's as he won this year's Ballon d'Or, via The Independent.

Real Madrid's young winger Jese was clever to tell Marca that he "dreamed of winning the Ballon d'Or in four years," via Football Espana.

There's nothing wrong with dreaming, as long as the player can separate the reality from the fiction. If he had said 'I will win it' then he adds unnecessary pressure to himself.

Jese has all the right characteristics to become a quality player, though it's always difficult to ascertain if he will be top of the pile.

There are so many factors which could influence his meteoric rise, but keeping his feet on the ground is an important one.

"My goal is to score ten goals," remarked Jese after netting the winner against Espanyol. He has four already, but with three and a half months left of the season, he is actually behind schedule.

That target is reachable, yet very slightly out of reach. It makes sense to set his sights on a tally that is higher than anyone would have thought possible back in August.

He is humble enough to accept that he is only making his way in the team, despite his impressive cameos, there's still a long way to go to gain the consistency required at this level.

"Bale is a great player. When he’s fit again, he’ll show what a good player he is. The position is his and I have to keep working," admitted the forward.

Establishing a regular spot in the first team is going to be his greatest obstacle, with the two most expensive players in the world currently occupying the wide areas.

Jese can also operate as a striker, and after serving something of an apprenticeship on the wing, he could find himself moved centrally in time.

He has pace in abundance, yet he has a good first touch and control to make sure the trailing defender can't recuperate.

If defences are sitting a little deeper, he is more than adept to use skill rather than rely on his raw speed.

In Bale and Ronaldo, he has the perfect role models to learn from either on and off the pitch.

You can't really stipulate where his main competitors will come from, but you can say that Lionel Messi and Ronaldo will be over 30.

It's an ambitious dream, but it's an attainable one for a young talented individual with the world at his feet.