Saturday, October 1, 2022

Ronaldinho prediction for “best player in world” after Lionel Messi now gathering pace at Arsenal

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Ronaldinho prediction for “best player in world” after Lionel Messi now gathering pace at Arsenal

Arsenal supporters have genuine reasons to be optimistic for the first time in what feels like more than a decade.

The Gunners’ last championship victory was in 2004, and in the 18 years that have followed, there have been false dawn after false dawn and ultimately disappointment after disappointment.

However, after winning six of their first seven Premier League matches, nobody could be blamed for becoming overconfident.

Mikel Arteta is a highly regarded young coach who sharpened his skills under Pep Guardiola, probably the best manager in the world. 

And it feels somewhat different with Gabriel Jesus in the form of his life.

Arteta identified the Brazilian as his primary target during the most recent transfer window.

Following the exits of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the Gunners were in need of a proven player capable of replacing the two without requiring an adjustment period.

It cost £45 million to pry Jesus away from Manchester City, a price that is already looking like one of the summer’s bargains.

The 25-year-old looks an ounce stronger, a step quicker, and substantially more confident in his first two months with Arsenal.

Since he had never been City’s main point, it was uncertain whether he could actually step up.

Doubts that were soon dispelled. Ronaldinho boldly predicted that his compatriot would eventually dethrone Lionel Messi as the finest player in the world, and his performances have gone a long way toward proving him correct.

“Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus,” Ronaldinho exclusively told Mirror Football in 2017. “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. Ronaldo, Kaka, myself and, more recently, Neymar were playing at the highest level at a young age. Gabriel is in that ­category.”

In a subsequent interview with Mirror Football, conducted after his transfer to the Emirates, Ronaldinho reiterated his remarks, saying that he will finally reach his full potential as the Gunners’ star player.

“When Gabriel joined Manchester City I said he would go on to be one of the best players in the world.

“When he was given a chance, he showed what he was capable of – but at Manchester City he was never shown the love a player of his quality deserves. At Arsenal he has been given the chance to be the focal point, he has been shown the love by the coach and the fans, and already he is repaying that.

“This season I expect big things from him – he will repay the love shown in him by showing he is not just one of the best players in The Premier League but also in Europe.”

Guardiola suggested earlier this year that Jesus was the best pressing forward in the game, joining the mysterious former Ballon d’Or winner in putting him in such famous company.

Jesus is demonstrating that he is much more than a hard worker under the tutelage of Pep’s former protégé, even if the Brazil manager still needs convincing.

Tite decided to leave Jesus out of the Selecao squad for their final round of matches before next month’s World Cup, despite his early-season performances. However, rather than spitting out his fake, Jesus demonstrated his confidence in his game.

“I respect the coach’s decision a lot, I respect Tite, the entire staff, the entire commission,” Jesus explained. “As I said, I’m Brazilian, I’ll always root for the team. And I also respect the other players, who have a lot of quality. I’ll keep doing my best to have the opportunity again.”

Whether he makes the flight to Qatar remains to be seen, but he now appears to be on the right track, despite falling short of Ronaldinho’s lofty ambitions.

Ronaldinho prediction for “best player in world” after Lionel Messi now gathering pace at Arsenal

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