Because Jamie Vardy’s meteoric rise to stardom has come in his late 20s rather than his late teens, the striker has managed to avoid comparisons with former greats.
Until now, that is.
David Beckham was speaking about Vardy during an Adidas event this week and revealed the 29-year-old reminds him of one of his former England teammates.
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“He’s a goalscorer,” the former Manchester United star was quoted as saying in an interview with Copa 90. “He’s like a Michael Owen. No matter what happens, you know you’re going to get a goal from Michael Owen and it’s the same with Vardy.
“He’s done it all season long and he’ll do it for England because he’s not scared to play. He’s been down in the lower league and now he’s playing for England, it’s amazing.”
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Asked how Vardy had managed to go from non-league football to the Premier League, Beckham responded: “It’s pure talent and hard work.”
Vardy's rise to stardom
Vardy has exceeded all expectations this season. Eyebrows were raised when the former Fleetwood Town forward was called up to the England squad this time last year - he only managed to score five goals in 34 Premier League appearances last term - but nobody doubts his talent 12 months later.
Leicester’s number nine has scored a superb 24 goals in 35 league appearances this term; he was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award; he won the Football Writers’ Player of the Year accolade and is nailed on for a place in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for this summer’s European Championships in France.
Vardy’s story is so incredible and unique that a film is in the works.
However, production on the film isn’t expected to start until after Euro 2016. The Jamie Vardy story hasn’t reached its conclusion just yet.
Can Vardy shine in France like Owen did in '98?
France was, of course, the country where Owen announced himself on the world stage - back in 1998 at the World Cup finals.
He scored what is widely regarded as the best goal of his career in Saint-Etienne - against Argentina in the quarter-finals - and went on to win the Ballon d’Or three years later.
While Vardy probably won’t win the Ballon d’Or - although we can’t rule it out given what’s happened this season - he will be confident of causing damage in England’s Euro 2016 group-stage fixtures against Russia, Wales and Slovakia.
Is Jamie Vardy like Michel Owen? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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