The 25 Next Cristiano Ronaldos in World Football
When Sir Alex Ferguson, signed the promising youngster from Portuguese club Sporting C.P. few would have thought that he was in the process of making a legend. Presently seven years down the line Cristiano Ronaldo is a household name both for his on-field as well as off-field antics.
He is considered as one of the most-gifted players of his generation as well as in football history.
In the following slideshow we will take a look twenty-five such promising youngsters who have the potential to be the "Next Ronaldo." The list is exhaustive and I might have missed a couple of other players. Do forgive for such mistakes and your invaluable inputs will be sincerely appreciated.
Another point to be noted is that the list is no way a ranking. So players are just listed randomly.
Hope you enjoy reading it !!!!
Oleg Nikishin/Getty Images
The 22-year-old CSKA Moscow midfielder is rated very highly. He is extremely talented and his versatility to play anywhere in midfield only adds up to his high rating.
He was one of the best performing youngsters in Russian league last season and has maintained his impressive form this season too. He is seen as a very promising youngster and might be Russia's very own CR9 in the future.
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Bayern Munich's 20-year-old young midfielder has been getting excellent reviews for his performances.
The new golden boy of German football has made an impact in the German Bundesliga with his precision passing, expertise in free kicks, calmness and powerful shot. He is also very creative and creates a good chance out of nowhere every now and then. Though he has a few weaknesses but that should not be worrying as his desire to improve is immense.
He is no doubt a player with immense potential and with good coaching can become a football great.
Regarded by many as the future of Swiss football, the 19-year-old winger has earned interest from numerous top clubs for his services.
He was one of the youngest players in this year's FIFA World Cup and was impressive. He helped his club Basel FC to their league and cup last season with a brilliant all-round performance. His lightning pace, sound technical abilities and dribbling quality makes him a dangerous player for opposition defenses.
His versatility to adapt in any position is a talent that will go on to make him a renowned player in the future. With proper guidance the extremely gifted youngster might well succeed Ronaldo in the future.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
The "phenomenal" French youngster is already widely celebrated as a top quality midfielder.
His exploits for Chelsea reserves earned him first team football and the 19-year-old starlet has already generated interests from other top clubs. Kakuta is seen much ahead than his age and during the U-19 championships he looked like playing with kids as he maintained compete control over the game.
The prodigious French starlet single-handedly helped France win the U-19 European championships. His sheer pace combined with his wide variety of dribbles and tactics makes him a danger to any defense. He is extremely versatile and can play in any role which makes him all the more highly-rated.
The French youngster is regarded as a "one-of-a-kind" and it remains to be seen if he can attain the levels reached by Cristiano or even go higher than that.
Jed Leicester/Getty Images
Tottenham's on-loan youngster John Bostock is a pretty talented and skilled midfielder. He is not only tactically sound but also technically gifted.
His sheer raw strength and power in shots makes him dangerous for opposition defenses. He scored a wonder goal on his debut when he netted a 30-yard strike. His pace and dribbling abilities are positive points for him. The youngster is playing at championship club Hull City but has undoubtedly the potential to be a top midfielder in the future. All he needs is the proper guidance.
Giovani Dos Santos
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
The talented 21-year-old Mexican was a revelation during the FIFA World Cup earlier this year. He impressed everyone with his brilliant foot-work and matured display of footballing skills.
A product of the Catalans' youth system, Dos Santos presently plays for English side Tottenham Hotspur. Great speed, superb ball control and a great shot at his foot makes him a very promising youngster. He also has a good understanding of the movement of the game and always arrives at the right place at the right time.
Though he lacks physical presence and is prone to injuries yet Dos Santos has all the potentials to become a future midfield wizard much like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Clive Rose/Getty Images
The highly-rated English winger has been regarded by many as the "next big thing" of the future and this season he has delivered a few performances to soar the expectations sky-high.
The 21-year-old versatile Arsenal winger has seen his short career so far plagued by injuries. This new season he has been in excellent form scoring 7 goals and making 2 assists from the total 8 appearances he has made for his club.
Walcott is gifted with a great sense of timing and vision. He utilises his blistering pace and brilliant timing of runs to create opportunities for himself as well as his team-mates. He also creates space for others and converts his chances with a fantastic finishing ability.
Walcott is just 21-year-old and has ample scope to improve and become a great midfielder in the future as is expected from him.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Belgian club Standard Liege's captain, the extremely talented and skilled Steven Defour was a matter of importance all through the last transfer window.
Numerous top clubs are interested in availing the services of this young promising Belgian midfielder and it is only a matter of time before he starts playing his football in a top European football club. The talented and versatile midfielder has brilliant dribbling and passing abilities, which he utilises to help his team-mates. An extremely hard-working play-maker combined with good leadership qualities has earned him club captaincy.
The 22-year-old has burst onto the scene with his impressive performances and it is only a matter of time before he goes onto become the newest superstar of football.
David Ramos/Getty Images
The highly-rated English youngster is undoubtedly one of the most interesting young players in the Premier League.
The 18-year-old midfielder is known for his passing and dribbling abilities. Combined with sheer pace, quick movement and agility he has already become an important part of his club's offense tactics. Wilshere is also gifted with a great vision and understanding of the game. He is also a specialist in combination plays.
The promising youngster is comfortable playing in various positions and this versatility will help him in becoming a great player in the future. He has all the qualities and skills to be like the Portuguese wizard but Wilshere only needs to keep his temper under control as it might earn him bookings.
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
Nicknamed "El Niño Maravilla" or the "Wonder Boy", Chile's most brightest prospect has already taken the world by storm.
The 21-year-old versatile player who can play as a winger, attacking midfielder or a forward currently plies his trade in Italian side Udinese. His exploits have attracted interests from top clubs and it is not long before he becomes a world-class footballer.
The prodigious youngster has excellent dribbling abilities and combined with explosive pace and a brilliant technique he is just waiting to become the next football superstar. Sanchez also is gifted with a great understanding of the game. He is an excellent crosser and very versatile with loads of trickery to fool opposition players.
He needs to increase his physical presence to survive in the physically tough European leagues and barring that this Chilean wonder-boy is only some years away from becoming "the next football superstar."
The 20-year-old Dutch midfielder, currently playing for Feyenoord is one of the top promising youngsters.
He has a rare combination of physical and technical attributes, which is not found commonly in players of his age. Nicknamed "The Bouncer", Fer has brilliant technical skills and a great positional sense which makes him a threat to opposition defenses. Fer is also extremely versatile as he has comfortably played in different positions - from right back to midfield to striker and has done so quite comfortably.
The gifted player is most likely to make a move to some top European club within 2012 and with his talent and attitude, Fer can become a real gem for the Dutch national side.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Chelsea's celebrated young talent Josh McEachran has become a worldwide sensation after his exploits on the field which earned him an U-21 England call up.
The 17-year-old is a product of Chelsea's youth system and has risen rapidly through the ranks to earn himself a first team start. An extremely gifted player, McEachran is seen as England's "next big thing." He is very versatile and capable to play in various positions.
The Chelsea youngster is comfortable with the ball and has impressive dribbling ability. He also has a creative mind and makes some brilliant passing. He helped England to the U-17 European championships recently. Comparisons have already been started to be met and if the young starlet continues his form along with able guidance, England might well have their own answer to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The extremely talented 20-year-old Russian midfielder has already attracted the interests of Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The CSKA Moscow player is very gifted and has excellent passing and dribbling skills. His creativity is displayed by the perfect passes he makes. He has a good vision and understanding of the game and plays unselfishly creating chances for his team-mates. His fiery pace and ball possession ability makes him a threat for opposition.
The youngster has already generated interests from top European clubs and it is not far from the day more clubs will be fighting for landing this promising youngster.
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
The 23-year-old Arsenal midfielder had long been touted as "Little Zidane", but had so far failed to fulfill the huge expectations.
This season has seen the rise of the French wonder-kid Samir Nasri. The 23-year-old has been given responsibilities in the absence of Gunners' captain Cesc Fabregas and so far he has impressed everyone with his displays. A good pace combined with dribbling abilities as well as creativity makes him a threat for the opposition whenever he as the ball at his feet. He can utilise both his legs easily and also has a good technique.
Nasri is often regarded as "French Pele" and if he maintains his this season's performance, the French kid might well follow in the foot-steps of Cristiano Ronaldo and earn fame and respect for himself.
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
The 21-year-old gifted Welshman took the world by storm last season after his heroics for the Spurs.
Armed with lightning speed and great passing abilities the Spurs' starlet has the potential to run down opposition defenders for long periods during a match. The promising youngster also has the ability to deliver deadly crosses into the opposition halves for his team's strikers.
He has started attracting interests from other clubs and though he has decided to stay with the Spurs' for the remaining of his contract, a big money move to some top club is no more a distant possibility. He has the potential and if he keeps his focus, Bale can very well Wales' answer to Cristiano Ronaldo.
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Italian club Fiorentina's promising 21-year-old Montenegrin midfielder, Stevan Jovetic is one of the brightest prospect to have amazed the world with his footballing skills.
His excellent dribbling, ball control and awesome technical abilities have already earned him respect from all parts of the world. He is a very creative and versatile midfielder and also has superb passing qualities that makes him all the more promising. Jovetic also has a good understanding of the game along with an eye for the goal.
He has been developing really well over the years and could go onto become another footballing superstar in the future.
Hamish Blair/Getty Images
The highly-rated English midfielder is considered a prodigy. He was earlier this year signed by Liverpool.
Shelvey is an extremely clever, creative footballer with an eye for a goal. He is a gifted passer and makes perfect distribution. He also is a good reader of the game and uses his creativity to create some good moves.
The 18-year-old former Charlton player is naturally gifted and if he is guided well then another English footballing legend is in the making.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images
The 19-year-old gifted Serbian midfielder has been earning rave reviews for his performances.
Fiorentina's blue-eyed-boy has been in the news reportedly after Manchester United dumped him after signing a pre-contract. The promising youngster has good ball possession abilities as well as a great technique. He has a good pace and vision which he uses to his advantage for creating chances.
Though he needs improvement in certain areas yet he has all the attributes to be Europe's next biggest star.
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Arsenal's wonder-boy Aaron Ramsey has recovered from his horrific injury and is on the path to recovery.
The 19-year-old promising Welsh youngster has been gifted with a great vision, blistering pace and good technical skills which has made him a bright prospect for the future. His athleticism and creative mind allows him to make quick incisive runs inside the opposition box. Moreover, his perfect passing ability makes him all the more suitable in the role of a play-maker.
He has already impressed everyone with his performances during his short career and is definitely a world-class material for the future.
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Assulin is Israel's brightest prospect for the future. The 19-year-old has recently signed for Manchester City after leaving Barcelona FC.
A product of Barcelona's youth system, Assulin is gifted with great speed, excellent dribbling and passing ability. He combines that with creativity to create chances for his team-mates. His versatility makes him able to cope in any position which makes him a utility player.
The Israeli starlet is an exciting prospect and with the right guidance can become a world-class player of the future.
Spartak Moscow's naturally gifted play-maker has been inviting interests from top Euroepan clubs.
The 18-year-old midfielder has already made a name for himself in the Russian league and even was invited to play for the Russia national team, which he refused. He has good passing and dribbling abilities and is also gifted with an excellent technique. He though has a few shortcomings but given his age, the youngster has ample scope to improve and become Georgia's next biggest star.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Real Madrid's promising young midfielder is a much-celebrated Spanish starlet.
He has a good understanding of the game and combined with his creative mind, the 19-year-old uses the ball well and finds space to create chances. He is very cool and poised and hence makes very few mistakes.
The young Spaniard has the potential to be like his Real Madrid colleague CR9 and if he continues his focus and performance, Canales can become Real's very own CR9.
Hamish Blair/Getty Images
German side Schalke 04's promising Georgian midfielder has been impressing everyone with his footballing skills.
He has all the attributes to become a world-class midfield talent. His blistering speed combined with his excellent dribbling and passing abilities allow him to breach any defense as well as create chances for others. His short career has so far been plagued by injuries and this season might be the one when he breaks into the limelight. His good techniques and great vision makes him a great potential future superstar.
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Lyon's 20-year-old Bosnian midfield starlet has earned rave reviews for his performances in recent months.
Described as a "typical old-fashioned play-maker" he has ample technical quality. The Bosnian wonder-kid has been touted as the future midfield legend. With his superb pace, brilliant passing and dribbling ability he is a star in the making. Moreover, his exceptional positional sense keeps him at the right place at the right time thus increasing his chances of getting more opportunities to score goals.
This kid is definitely a youngster with huge potential and if nurtured properly can become somewhat like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Known for his excellent techniques, dribbling abilities and creativity, Lille's very own wonder-boy Eden Hazard has already started drawing comparisons with Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The extremely talented 19-year-old midfielder is known for his versatility and creative moves. His playing style has earned him fans all over the world. He has world-class skills with the ball and is not afraid in taking on opposition players. Hazard also has a powerful and accurate shot which makes him more threatening during set-pieces.
The promising youngster has already huge expectations behind him and with all the potential he has Hazard might well become the next Cristiano Ronaldo. He just needs to maintain his focus and concentration.