• Premier League veteran names Adama Traore as only player tougher than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Traore is a former Barcelona Academy player
  • Amad Traore was described as unstoppable as Messi 

A Premier League veteran named the only player he considers tougher than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Modern soccer is still evidently dominated by Messi and Ronaldo. Though the legendary players have not shown any sign of slowing down yet, there has been an array of rising stars who present a strong case to possibly take over the game in the future.

The Barcelona academy, also known as the famous “La Masia” has been widely recognized as a breeding ground of world-class talents such as Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta, and youngster Ansu Fati, who is arguably Messi’s possible successor and the biggest starlet the academy has produced thus far. However, there was one former La Masia player who has started making a name for himself - Wolverhampton Wanderers star Adama Traore.

This season, Traore has been significant in the Wolves' impressive Premier League run. The stocky but savvy winger has already scored four goals and provided seven assists, which saw him receiving high regards from some of his English top-flight peers.

One of the most notable remarks about Traore came from Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen. In a recent interview on live show “Last Word on Spurs,” Vertonghen made a bold claim and said that he has played against some of the best players in the world such as Ronaldo and Messi. However, neither of the two legendary athletes was tougher to face than Wolves winger Traore.

”I’ve played against Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez but the player I have struggled the most against over 90 minutes was (Adama) Traore,” Vertonghen said.

Vertonghen is a seasoned veteran in the sport. He has been with the Spurs since 2012 making over 220 appearances for the North London club. And though he is already in the final months of his contract, he had the opportunity to face Messi and Ronaldo in their prime. This is why even though it’s a bit hard to agree with Vertonghen’s claim, he still has earned the right to make such comparisons.

Meanwhile at Serie A, another Traore has also received a shocking compliment. Atalanta rising star Amad Traore, who also plays as a winger, was described as unstoppable as Messi by the Italian side’s captain Papu Gomez.

“Traore, he looks like Messi. There are defenders in the first team that sometimes cannot stop him. Very strong players come out of Primavera every year,” captain Gomez said.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo may well have to relinquish the Ballon d'Or title to Lionel Messi for 2016. Getty Images