English Premiership

Ronaldinho: Jesus can overtake Messi to be world's best

2017-02-14 14:37
Gabriel Jesus (Getty)

Cape Town - Former Brazil international Ronaldinho believes Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus has the potential to become the best player in the world.

Ronaldinho, who was a global superstar and won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2004 and 2005, believes his Brazilian compatriot will eventually follow in the footsteps of fellow international team-mate Neymar.

The 19-year-old Jesus, who joined City in the January transfer window from Palmeiras, has made a sensational start to life at the Etihad Stadium, scoring three goals in three starts while keeping Sergio Aguero on the bench.

Ronaldinho, who helped his country win the World Cup in 2002, feels Jesus is young enough and can reach the same heights as Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, who has won a record five Ballons d'Or.

The now 36-year-old Ronaldinho told the Daily Mirror: "Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus. Maybe even, in the future, the best player in the world.

"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 just wants to play and show what he can do. He will put in big ­performances against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and all the other top teams in England."

City manager Pep Guardiola has been left sweating on the fitness of the Brazilian wonder-kid after rolling his ankle in a Premier League clash against Bournemouth on Monday night.

Guardiola said that the extent of the injury will only be known a day after the game and that he will pray that it isn't too serious.

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