Three youngest footballers who could replace Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in future

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have arguably been two of the greatest footballers to ever exist. That their playing careers have had such big intersections is pure luck that spectators are experiencing. The pair have won a remarkable 13 Ballon d’Or awards between them as they have ruled over world football for nearly a decade now. They have won several other major honours and have been mainstays in FIFA’s World XI as well as UEFA’s Teams of the Year.


Ronaldo made his debut back in 2002 for Sporting CP and has racked up 740 goals and 236 assists in 994 professional club appearances since. He is also Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 128 goals in 205 games, along with 46 assists. At 39, the Portuguese sensation is still going strong with Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.

Messi debuted back in 2004 for FC Barcelona and has scored 721 goals and provided 344 assists in 889 club appearances. The diminutive Argentine is also his nation’s all-time top scorer with 106 goals in 180 games, along with 56 assists. The 36-year-old currently plies his trade for Inter Miami in the MLS.
However, with age catching up quickly with these greats, we have suggested three youngest footballers who could be better replacements of Messi and Ronaldo in the upcoming future. 

Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain | 25 years

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain

Mbappe broke onto the scene having come through the youth ranks at AS Monaco. He made his senior debut for the club at the tender age of 16 back in 2015. In 60 appearances for Monaco, Mbappe scored 27 goals and provided 16 assists as he announced himself on the world stage.

His exploits earned him a blockbuster move to PSG in July 2018 in a deal worth €180 million. Since joining the Parisians, Mbappe has scored an impressive 243 goals and provided 105 assists in 290 appearances so far. He has won five Ligue 1 titles in his career, along with the prestigious FIFA World Cup crown with France in 2018. He has an astounding 46 goals and 30 assists in 75 games for his country and is already fourth on the list.

Kylian Mbappe has previously admitted he idolized Ronaldo growing up. Now, with his idol’s career in the twilight years, the 25-year-old could make the top spot his own.

Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid | 23 years

Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid
Vinicius made his senior league debut for Real Madrid back in September 2018 as an 18-year-old wonderkid. Since then, he has become one of the pillars of the current Los Blancos squad.

The Brazilian winger has made 247 appearances for the club. During that time, he has bagged 71 goals and 71 assists as he maintains his status as one of the world’s best players. Despite only being 23, Vinicius has already won two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, two FIFA Club World Cup titles and one UEFA Champions League title.

Vini Jr. has made a relatively slow start for the Selecao. He has made 26 appearances for Brazil, scoring three goals and providing four assists. Considering he was almost a like-for-like replacement once Ronaldo left Real for Juventus, he will have big expectations to live up to.

Jude Bellingham | Real Madrid | 20 years

20-year-old Jude Bellingham has taken Real Madrid by storm with his incredible performance since joining in July 2023. Bellingham already has 20 goals and eight assists in just 29 games for the club. What makes these numbers even more impressive is that he is a central midfielder who often commits himself forward to grab every chance he can get.

Having made his senior debut for Birmingham City as a 16-year-old back in 2019, he moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2020. After 132 games for Dortmund, he had 24 goals and 25 assists as he continued to develop rapidly. He has also made 27 appearances for England, scoring two goals and providing five assists.
His scoring has been so prolific this season that he has broken a couple of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid scoring records. He will look to continue in the same way in the future. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *