KEY POINTS

  • Brazil may have found the next Ronaldo in Gabriel Barbosa
  • Barbosa already scored 43 goals in just 56 matches
  • Ronaldo is still the greatest striker in history

Brazil may have finally found an heir apparent to their legendary striker Ronaldo.

Ever since “Original Ronaldo” retired from soccer in 2011, Brazil has been quite eager to find the next Ronaldo. Widely considered as the greatest striker in the history, Ronaldo’s story of redemption was truly remarkable.However, just like any other legends, “El Fenomeno” also has his time.

After a real lack of genuine options at the start of the decade, two youngsters came along for Brazil – Gabriel Barbosa, best known as “Gabigol,” and Gabriel Jesus. With their sublime talents and ability to score in various ways, Barbosa and Jesus are both being viewed as the next Ronaldo. 

In 2016, both Gabigol and Jesus got their big breaks; the latter headed to Manchester City, where he is still making a success of himself, while the former opted for Inter to follow the footsteps of both Ronaldo and Adriano.

Gabigol has been terrific this year. This season alone, while under the expansive and forward-thinking Portuguese Jorge Jesus, Gabigol has scored 43 goals in 56 games in all competitions, including two late on in the Copa Libertadores final. The Sportsman reported.

Gabriel Barbosa late double snatched the Copa Libertadores for Flamengo Gabriel Barbosa late double snatched the Copa Libertadores for Flamengo Photo: AFP / Ernesto BENAVIDES

Many in soccer are convinced that Gabigol’s stock is higher than ever. At the age of only 23, his best years are still ahead of him. The clamour for his signature is growing, and Inter hold the cards as he remains on loan.

Gabigol continuously proves that he is set to become a legendary scorer like Ronaldo. He is now one of Brazil’s most promising soccer stars and some even believe that he could the next iconic player the country has been longing for in the past 9 to 10 years.

In the eyes of some of the people who knew Ronaldo, he is still the greatest to ever strike the ball in the field. Last October, Ronaldo’s former Inter Milan teammate, Mikael Silvestre, explained why the Brazilian legend still tops all the great strikers today.

“What’s amazing is the speed of his movement. His speed with the ball and without the ball is something I’d never faced before and never did again. He was always quicker and faster, even with the ball,” Silvestre pointed out.

Silvestre is convinced that Ronaldo is the best in striking even when in difficult sitatutions. He even recalled some epic El Fenomino moments during the World Cup back in 2002.

“His best attribute was his ability to strike in a short space of time. Especially at the World Cup in 2002, he scored goals that were toe pokes. That’s where, for me, he was superior to every other striker,” Silvestre recalled.

Ronaldo Il Fenomeno Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo celebrates after a goal Photo: Bleacher Report