Ronaldinho names the Premier League player that can become the world's best player

Barcelona's Brazilian Ronaldinho (L) tal

Ronaldinho knows all about being the best player in the world.

The Brazilian won the Ballon d’Or in 2005 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players to have played the sport.

However, Ronaldinho’s solitary Ballon d’Or triumph pales into insignificance when you consider the exploits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years.

In the previous nine years, either Messi (5) or Ronaldo (4) have won the individual award leaving all the previous winners looking rather ordinary in comparison to the two superstars that have dominated football.

Of course, you’re either team Messi or team Ronaldo and Ronaldinho unsurprisingly backs his former teammate.

However, with the Argentine turning 30 this summer, his time at the peak of his powers is coming to an end.

So, who will replace him as the best player in the world?

Many footballers past and present have earmarked Messi’s teammate Neymar as the heir to his throne and Ronaldinho has often made that very claim.

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However, in recent weeks, he’s seen a Premier League player that he believes that follow in Messi’s footsteps - Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus.

“Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus,” said the 2002 World Cup winner. “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.”

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Jesus arrived at the Etihad in January from Brazilian champions Palmeiras and has made an immediate impact in England. He’s scored three goals in his four appearances so far for Pep Guardiola’s side and is currently keeping Sergio Aguero out of the team.

And Ronaldinho doesn’t believe the 19-year-old needs to be nurtured and is ready to play in big matches for City immediately.

“I don’t always agree that players should always be eased in — it depends on the type of player,” said the former Barcelona star.

“You look at Gabriel Jesus and he has no fear at all. He just wants to play and show what he can do. He will put in big ­performances against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and all the other top teams in England.

“I’m pleased he has been named in the Champions League squad and I think he should play, he is full of confidence. Ronaldo, Kaka, myself and, more recently, Neymar were playing at the highest level at a young age. Gabriel is in that ­category.”

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While there’s no doubt Jesus has made an incredible start to life in the Premier League, he’s still got a very long way to go if he is to become the best player in the world.

But he’s certainly got the backing from Ronaldinho.

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