We all have one or two memories of soccer legends in our minds that we miss seeing on the pitch. Have you ever witnessed a player on the field and immediately felt a sense of déjà vu, as if they were channelling the spirit of a footballing legend? It’s a common occurrence, isn’t it?
Memories of Soccer Legends
Today, we delve into the world of football to explore 10 contemporary footballers who bear striking resemblances to some of the sport’s most iconic figures.
1. Erling Haaland
Starting with the most obvious comparison, Erling Haaland undeniably conjures up memories of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s not just because they both hail from Nordic countries; their towering stature, athleticism, playing style, and even hairstyles all align. Watching Haaland’s remarkable goals in his young career, one can’t help but think, “Only Zlatan could pull that off.” Even the astute Pep Guardiola, who managed both strikers, has pointed out this uncanny resemblance.
2. Julian Alvarez
Julian Alvarez, Haaland’s strike partner, bears a striking resemblance to Sergio Aguero. Both are diminutive yet powerful center-forwards with incredible shooting prowess. They excel with the ball at their feet, are skilled at converting from close range, and have represented Manchester City while leading the line for Argentina. Depending on the era, you could easily be referring to either Alvarez or Aguero. Aguero himself acknowledges these similarities, and it’s no surprise that Manchester City swiftly signed Alvarez following Aguero’s departure.
3. Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe evokes vivid memories of Thierry Henry, and there’s no denying it. If you never had the chance to witness Henry in his prime, just watch Mbappe play; it’s essentially the same experience. From their lightning pace to their exquisite skills, keen eye for goal, and creative flair, they share it all.
They are also versatile in the same way, comfortable on the left flank or anywhere in the attack. The way Mbappe receives the ball, controls it, and leaves defenders in his wake mirrors Henry’s style during his Arsenal days. It’s no coincidence that they both played for Monaco and won the World Cup with France as young talents. Arsene Wenger, who worked closely with Henry, affirms that Mbappe is a true Henry successor.
4. Jude Bellingham
If you see shades of Zinedine Zidane in Jude Bellingham, you’re spot on. Bellingham glides across the pitch with a tall, slender frame, reminiscent of the three-time FIFA World Player of the Year. Both stand at 6-foot-1 and don’t appear remarkably fast, yet they cover ground swiftly with long strides. They possess the ability to play just behind the striker or deeper in midfield. Bellingham, like Zidane, has a penchant for goal-scoring. Imagining Bellingham working under Zidane is a tantalizing thought, and Bellingham himself acknowledges Zidane as one of his football role models, even adopting Zidane’s number 5 jersey upon joining Madrid.
5. Dominik Szoboszlai
Dominik Szoboszlai is the embodiment of a Steven Gerrard successor. Did you witness that stunning goal he scored against Leicester City? If it didn’t remind you of Stevie G, you may have missed out on watching Gerrard in action. Their playing styles are remarkably similar—they both love to unleash powerful long-range shots, excel at set pieces, and display versatility by thriving in various midfield positions. Moreover, both possess exceptional leadership qualities. Gerrard captained Liverpool at 23, while Szoboszlai assumed the captain’s armband for the Hungary national team at just 22. The resemblances are unmistakable
Pedri possesses the uncanny ability to channel the spirit of Andres Iniesta. He effortlessly glides through the heart of any defense, much like Iniesta did in his prime. Both players are adept at scoring crucial goals for their clubs and countries. The footballing world widely acknowledges that Pedri is poised to take over Iniesta’s legacy at both Barcelona and Spain. This belief is reinforced by Barcelona’s decision to bestow upon him the iconic number 8 jersey, previously worn by Iniesta.
7. Martin Odegaard
Martin Odegaard draws comparisons to David Silva, thanks to his silky skills as an attacking midfielder who can seamlessly operate as an 8 or a 10. Both excel in driving through opposition defenses, finding pockets of space, and creating goal-scoring opportunities, occasionally netting themselves. While Odegaard may not match Silva’s technical prowess, he possesses a knack for scoring. Odegaard’s style bears a resemblance to Silva’s, making them kindred spirits in the world of football.
8. Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan’s turns with the ball bear a striking resemblance to Xavi Hernandez’s artistry. They share the ability to scan the field before receiving the ball and then orchestrate precise long-range passes. Both excel as deep-lying playmakers who can infiltrate advanced positions to score crucial goals. Their leadership qualities are also evident, and it’s fitting that Gundogan now plays under Xavi’s guidance. While Xavi in his prime was a more complete player, Gundogan undeniably conjures the spirit of the Barcelona legend.
9. Neymar Júnior
Neymar and Ronaldinho, both former Barcelona players, exude a remarkable similarity that constantly prompts football enthusiasts to draw comparisons between their careers. These two players appear to be cut from the same footballing cloth. Neymar replicates nearly every skill that Ronaldinho showcased during his illustrious career, and their chemistry on the field during charity matches is undeniable. They both possess a wide range of abilities, playing across the front line and even occasionally in midfield. Their love for dribbling, scoring, creating, taking set pieces, and enjoying the game mirrors each other’s style. Whether you call for an elastico, rainbow flick, or stepover, Neymar and Ronaldinho deliver perfection.
10. Evan Ferguson
Evan Ferguson is a rising star who bears striking similarities to Erling Haaland. Despite Haaland’s youth, the parallels are too conspicuous to ignore. Every time you watch Ferguson leading the line for Brighton, you can’t help but label this teenager as the next Haaland, even though Haaland is still relatively new himself. The resemblance is uncanny, and Ferguson is already making waves by scoring Premier League hat-tricks, much like Haaland did. Brighton fans might be in for a thrilling future, but one can only wonder about the price tag they’ll demand when they decide to part ways with Ferguson.
These comparisons illustrate the enduring influence of football legends on the modern game. Feel free to share your thoughts and continue the conversation by mentioning other current footballers who remind you of legends in the comments. We always value your opinions and perspectives.
Read Also – 10 Most Misunderstood Footballers
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