Albeit Lionel Messi’s level has maintained the same even though he’s 31 years old, both Messi and his club Barcelona know that he’s not getting any younger and in a couple of seasons he will have to hang the cleats. With that being said, the Blaugrana have to start looking for a proper replacement for the Argentinian star when he decides to call it a career.
Right now there are a lot of players who appear to be very good for the future, but only a bunch of them can carry the torch once Messi is gone. Not every wonderkid has what it takes to replace the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner and that makes the search for his successor even harder. However, we have found some potential successors for Messi when the time comes.
Here are the top 5 best replacement for Lionel Messi in Barcelona.
This English forward has been in everybody’s mouth for the last two seasons seeing the good things he did for his side Manchester United, becoming the top scorer of the team and relegating Romelu Lukaku to be the second striker of the team. Rashford is the future of the team, but that future can be stolen at any time if he keeps playing the way he’s done it so far.
He is expected to lead the English national side for several years to come alongside other players and he could do the same in Barcelona. He was linked to Barcelona in recent months, there were even rumors of Rashford going to play in Camp Nou in exchange for Philippe Coutinho, so that might be a good start for Rashford to take the torch from Messi when the star decides to leave.
Kylian Mbappe is without any hesitation the most hyped youngster in football at this very moment. The French forward is expected to do great things with his club, whichever it is, and his national team, just like he did last year in Russia when France won the FIFA World Cup.
Mbappe is followed by every major club in Europe and even though at this point Real Madrid appears as the favorite to take his talents, Barcelona has made clear that they are going to fight for Mbappe, starting this summer. The club’s directive thinks of Kylian as the successor of Messi, stating they won’t hesitate to pay big money in order to land the PSG star.
This German winger is one of the most talented and unbalancing footballers in his position. Sane has been demonstrating how important he can be for his team during his tenure with Manchester City, following his impressive performance with German side Schalke 04.
Right now Sane is being followed by Bayern Munich, but Barcelona can show up as a surprising suitor for the German and steal this gem from both Bayern and Manchester City. At this time he’s only 23, so the best years of his career are ahead of him. This is a player who doesn’t get scared when the hot moments arrive and that’s something Barcelona will need after their killer retires from the game.
The 2017-2018 FIFPro Young Player of the Year is ready to steal the spotlight and what better way to do so than replacing the one and only Lionel Messi.
Paulo Dybala is one of the most exciting players out there right now even though he didn’t have his best moments with Juventus this year. Dybala had been the maximum figure of Juventus until the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and now the former Palermo star looks ready to take his talents somewhere else.
Clubs like Liverpool or Bayern have been linked with Dybala in the past, but if there is something he’s stated in several occasions is his desire to play alongside Lionel Messi and not only in the Argentinian national side. This could be the best opportunity for Dybala to make his dream come true and to start his journey as the next leader of Barcelona.
The biggest issue that Neymar had to face during his days in Barcelona was not being the leader of the team and be the second and third option of then manager Luis Enrique behind Messi and Luis Suarez. Well, now a comeback to Barcelona has been rumored for Neymar and if he’s able to work under Messi’s lead, Ney can have the whole team at his disposition at the right time.
Neymar already proved the things he could do for Barcelona during his days at Camp Nou. For instance, he was the best player in that historic comeback the Blaugrana pulled off in front of PSG back in 2017. Therefore, Neymar has everything to succeed in Barcelona, he just has to decide if the can wait a couple of seasons until Messi’s retirement or take his talents elsewhere.