Lionel Messi: What happened to the 17 players tipped to be 'the next Messi'?

Lionel Messi is the greatest footballer of all time

There is only one Lionel Messi.

The Argentine is perhaps the best player that has ever played the sport of football.

Football will be a poorer place without him and we’re already looking around to see who will follow in his footsteps. In fact, we've been on the lookout for many years for someone who could replace the 34-year-old.

Of course, there is Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland looking to fill the rather large void left behind by Messi. But they’re very different players to the Barcelona star.

The ultimate Lionel Messi quiz

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Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

But down the years, many players have been tipped to be the ‘next Lionel Messi.’

Whether it’s from the media or pundits, there have been 17 players touted to be the next Messi.

Some have gone on to achieve greatness. Some have failed to live up to the hype.

And now, a brilliant thread from @CheGiaevara has looked at all 17 ‘next Messi’s’ to see what has happened to them.

Let’s take a look:

Bojan | Free agent

Bojan wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Gai Assulin | Crema

Gai Assulin wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Alen Halilovic | Free agent

Alen Halilovic wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Iker Muniain | Athletic Bilbao

Iker Muniain wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Humam Tariq | Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

Humam Tariq wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Ryan Gauld | Vancouver Whitecaps

Ryan Gauld wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Ryo Miyaichi | Yokohama F. Marinos

Ryo Miyaichi wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Takefusa Kubo | Real Madrid

Takefusa Kubo wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Lee Seung-woo | Portimonense, on loan from Sint-Truiden

Lee Seung-woo wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Mohamed Salah | Liverpool

Mohamed Salah wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Christian Atsu | Al-Raed 

Christian Atsu wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Marko Marin | Free agent

Marko Marin wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Xherdan Shaqiri | Liverpool

Xherdan Shaqiri wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Sardar Azmoun | Zenit Saint Petersburg

Sardar Azmoun wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Martin Odegaard | Real Madrid

Martin Odegaard wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Gerard Deulofeu | Udinese

Gerard Deulofeu wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Juan Iturbe | Aris

Juan Iturbe wasn't the next Lionel Messi

Perhaps it's time to stop dubbing young stars as the 'next Lionel Messi' as it obviously does more damage than good for many of them.

Perhaps Robert Lewandowski summed it up best last year when he said there won't be another Messi for another century.

"He is a great player, one of the greatest in the history of football," Lewandowski told Ole.

"I know that the expectations around him are enormous and what he has already achieved as a footballer is something that perhaps no one will achieve.

"Maybe you have to wait 100 years for someone like him to be born again. With what he has already done, he is and will be one of the greatest in all of history."

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