Every Player Called 'The New Lionel Messi' Since 2006 - Where Are They Now?
Lionel Messi has been the measuring stick in football for the last decade and a half - but what happened to the players tipped to be as great as the man himself?
Messi has been a superstar his entire career and it's only natural the next up and coming talent is to be compared to him.
The Barcelona man was naturally compared to fellow countryman Diego Maradona when he was started out, before becoming the benchmark himself.
Planet Football have uncovered the youngsters who were tipped to be the 'next Lionel Messi' and found out how they're getting on.
Bojan Krkic: 2006 (THEN: Barcelona. NOW: Montreal Impact)
Gerardo Bruna: 2007 (THEN: Real Madrid. NOW: Derry City)
Mauro Zarate: 2008 (THEN: Lazio. NOW: Boca Juniors)
Amir Sayoud: 2009 (THEN: Al Ahly. NOW: CR Belouizdad)
Gai Assulin: 2010 (THEN: Barcelona. NOW: Politehnica Iasi)
2011: Iker Muniain (THEN: Athletic Bilbao. NOW: Athletic Bilbao)
2012: Ryo Miyaichi (THEN: Arsenal. NOW: St. Pauli)
2013: Ryan Gauld (THEN: Dundee United. NOW: Farense)
2014: Alen Halilovic (THEN: Dinamo Zagreb. NOW: Heerenveen on loan from AC Milan)
2015: Martin Odegaard (THEN: Real Madrid. NOW: Real Sociedad on loan from Real Madrid)
2016: Lee Seung-Woo (THEN: Barcelona B. NOW: Sint-Truiden)
2017: Pietro Pellegri (THEN: Genoa. NOW: Monaco)
2019: Thiago Almada (CURRENTLY: Velez Sarsfield)
#mufc are interested in signing 19-year-old Argentine playmaker Thiago Almada, who has also been linked with Arsenal, from Velez Sarsfield. #muzone [Tutto Mercato Web, via Express]pic.twitter.com/hD5f20H7W1- United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) May 11, 2020
It's likely you'll have heard of a few of these players, while some of them have come from absolutely nowhere.
Krkic became the youngest player to represent Barcelona when he made his debut at the age of 17 years and 19 days, three months younger than Messi on his debut.
However, the Spaniard failed to recreate his form shown in Barcelona's B side and now plays his football at Montreal Impact in the MLS.
Argentine players often fall into the trap of being compared to Messi, which is what happened to Gerardo Bruna and Mauro Zarate.
Both men have had journeymen careers but share the similarity of spending a significant amount of time in England.
Of the players listed, Martin Odegaard is the most likely to live up to initial promise.
The Norwegian has begun to shine at Real Sociedad and a return to Real Madrid looks likely.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images