Next Cristiano Ronaldo: But Who Is Douglas Costa?

Jonathon DuffyContributor IJune 23, 2009

Fast. Confident. Great long range shooter. Composed finisher. Free kick specialist. Winger. Attacking Midfielder. Striker. Runs at players. Silky skills. A slight arrogance and swagger. Bit of a "hogger" on the ball. And step over king. Sound like someone familiar? Douglas Costa is just like Cristiano Ronaldo. He can pop up anywhere on the pitch, always in the right position and full of energy. But there is something a little more special about Douglas Costa.

When I say he is very similar to Ronaldo I don't mean Ronaldo aged 18. I mean the current Cristiano Ronaldo! World Player Of The Year Ronaldo. Most Expensive Player Ronaldo.

Douglas Costa is only 18!

Now I was like most football/soccer fans when I heard about Manchester United following this young prospect, Douglas Costa. Never heard of him! I read a few articles about him in the newspapers and he sounded interesting. So I looked him up on YouTube, and I advise you to do the same!

Watching videos of him was a pleasure. Now I understand that they are 'highlights' and that he may not always play like that. But I was impressed. I saw clips of him playing at youth stages, first team games for Gremio and at Under 20 level for Brazil. He is 'quality'.

Its as if the ball sticks to his boot. He sidesteps players beautifully and the ball follows him as if he were a magnet. Exaggeration, just look for yourself.

He uses his step overs to beat his opponent and he leaves them standing in his dust. He cuts in from the wing, ball at his feet, and smashes it at goal so powerfully that his feet come off the ground. He seems like the kind of player every defender hates. He can shield the ball so well, despite being no taller than 5"7! And he has a fine finish in front of goal too. And watch out for his superb free kicks, as the pace and curl he gets on them is incredible!

He is like a combination of Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo, with a little bit of Robinho in him.

But there are still a few doubts:

  • He has only made 16 first team appearances for Gremio in two seasons!
  • In 16 appearances he has only scored 1 goal
  • Brazilian defences - and goalkeepers - are much weaker than in England
  • He has only made 11 appearances for the Brazil 'Under 20' side and scored only 3 goals

So he has yet to prove his value. . .

So should Manchester United - or Real Madrid, Inter or Barcelona - splash out £20,000,000 ($32.6 million/€23.5 million) on him? Perhaps just one more season to prove his worth. But this could increase his value and Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United Manager) could miss out on a gold mine!

My feeling is that he is certainly not the complete product and will need someone (like Ferguson) to develop him further. But to get the best out of him, in my opinion, he needs to move to Italy or Spain where he can run with the ball more, have more space and freedom, and won't be pushed to be a better team player (with the exception of FC Barcelona and a few others). But I would love to see him at Man United, with him on the right and Nani on the left.

Watch his videos, watch out for him, and PLEASE leave comments on what YOU think about him and where he should go . . .