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Who will be the next Lionel Messi?

| 18.09.2014

As magnificent as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is, the Argentinian can’t stay at the top of the game forever, which means Barca, odds-on at 5/6 to win La Liga this term, will have to find some way of replacing him eventually. Coral review similar types of players that could possibly take over his mantle.

James Rodriguez
The Colombian showed glimpses of his vast potential at the World Cup in the summer, which earned him a £63m move to Real Madrid. With a low centre of gravity, and the ability to jink past opponents quickly, off either foot, scoring all kinds of goals, he could be perhaps the closest candidate to Barca’s Messi.

Mario Gotze
At the age of just 22, the German is fast becoming a superstar and literally a world beater. Having come on as a substitute to score the winning goal in Germany’s 1-0 win over Messi’s Argentina in the World Cup final, the Bayern Munich man upstaged Barcelona’s protagonist. He seems to have everything already, and will go from strength to strength under one of Messi’s former mentors Pep Guardiola.

Juan Iturbe
He has already been dubbed ‘the new Lionel Messi’ in some quarters, and Roma’s 21-year-old attacker shares many similarities to his compatriot. Having secured a move to the Italian club this summer, it is thought that this could be a stepping stone, and pave the way to a bigger club if he performs to his best. His sublime skill and close ball control are just two facets of his game that replicate Messi’s.

Julian Draxler
Already making a name for himself in the Bundesliga, he was thought to be the subject of interest from Arsenal last season. His ability to use both feet and unpredictability on the ball make him a perfect replacement for Messi at Barcelona and, at just 20 years of age, has the world at his feet.

Iker Muniain
Given the name ‘the Spanish Messi’, he certainly has the ability to emulate the Argentinian. Currently plying his trade for Athletic Bilbao, he is set for a breakthrough season; however, if he is to reach his huge potential, he will at some point soon need to move to a big club. There will be no shortage of suitors.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.