'Baby Messi' scored his first goals for Sporting Lisbon this week just a few days after making his league debut for the club.
Ryan Gauld moved to Portugal from Dundee United last summer for around £3million. Lisbon have so much faith in the player they even inserted a €60million buyout clause into his contract.
The attacking midfielder was given his professional debut aged just 17 as he played the last three minutes of Dundee United’s last game of the 2011/12 season against Motherwell.
Having been scouted by the likes of Celtic, Arsenal, Manchester United and Real Madrid, the young Scot signed for the Portuguese champions when they came knocking.
Having been at the club for just six months Gauld got his chance in the first team last Sunday as he played the last 25 minutes in the home win against Rio Ave.
The man that gave Gauld his debut three years ago, Falkirk boss Peter Houston, was extremely happy to hear of his senior debut for Lisbon and lauded the youngster for the progress he has made since being had his league debut.
"I was absolutely delighted to see Ryan make his Sporting Lisbon debut," Houston is quoted as saying by the Daily Record.
"It was brilliant. I handed Ryan his Scottish Premier League debut as a sub for Johnny Russell in the final match of the 2011-12 season when we won 2–0 away to Motherwell.
"He hasn’t looked back since. I love to see all my former players going on to achieve success in their careers. Ryan is a special case, though, and it is fantastic to see how he has progressed."
After making an impression on his debut he was rewarded with a start in the cup a few day later against Belenenses.
Gauld showed his talents as it took just five minutes for him to score his first goal for the club. Just over 10 minutes later he had scored his second to give his team a two goal lead inside 20 minutes.
Unfortunately for Gauld his two goals weren’t enough to see Sporting go through as they lost the lead and crashed out the cup.
At the age of 19 Gauld is showing he has adapted extremely well to football in Portugal and don’t be surprised to see him get many more games for the first team in the second half of the season.
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