Former Brazil and Barcelona attacker Ronaldinho has tipped Gabriel Jesus to take over from Lionel Messi and Neymar as the world’s best player
In an interview with David Anderson of the Daily Mirror, Barcelona and Brazil legend has heaped a tremendous amount of praise on Manchester City youngster Gabriel Jesus. The 2002 World Cup winner has put Jesus in the bracket of Blaugrana stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, and claims he will soon become the best footballer in the world.
“Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus. Maybe even, in the future, the best player in the world,” said the 36-year-old
“At the moment it is Messi. I have always said I think one day it will be Neymar. But at 19, in the future, it can be Gabriel. He has all the abilities to make that happen,” he added.
Jesus agreed to a deal with the Citizens in the summer, but joined the Manchester outfit in the January transfer window. He showed signs of why Pep Guardiola paid top dollar for him in his very first Premier League contest and unfortunately saw his goal against Tottenham Hotspur disallowed due to offside.
However, in his following two games in the league, he found the back of the net. He scored once in City’s 4-0 thumping of West Ham, but more importantly scored both goals in side’s scrappy 2-1 win over Swansea. Due to his flying start to life in England, the club’s top striker Sergio Aguero has had to be content with a subdued role on the bench.
The 19-year-old has also been a hit on the international stage, despite having very little experience at the top level. He has scored five goals in six appearances for Brazil, and was instrumental in guiding them to a gold medal triumph in Rio last year.
Ronaldinho himself won the World Cup at a tender age of 22 before he moved to Barcelona and became a success on the European stage. He won the Champions League four years later, and has backed Jesus to succeed on any level he plays. The former Barcelona star also dropped examples of other footballing legends that achieved success early in their career.
“You look at Gabriel Jesus and he has no fear at all. He just wants to play and show what he can do. I’m pleased he has been named in the Champions League squad and I think he should play, he is full of confidence.
“Ronaldo, Kaka, myself and, more recently, Neymar were playing at the highest level at a young age. Gabriel is in that category,” stated Ronaldinho.
The 19-year-old will be looking to continue his fine run of form as City visit the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth on Monday night.