Obviously, there are many footballers who look up to Cristiano Ronaldo, wanting to follow the Portuguese magnifico’s footsteps in the world of football. At the same time, there are famous players who idolize Lionel Messi.
Of course, the two Ballon D’or winners are literally the most successful footballers in the world. Individually, they have achieved many things.
As a result, many young players in the 21st century usually look up to them, so as to be able to achieve half of their achievements in football.
Some players idolize Cristiano Ronaldo because of his winning mentality. Meanwhile, others look up to Lionel Messi because of his creativity.
After winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Argentine captain’s fanbase increased. Many people fell in love with him, as he single-handedly helped Argentina win the world’s trophy.
Also, almost all of Barcelona’s players idolize Lionel Messi, they always want to be like the Paris Saint-Germain playmaker. Because he makes everyone around him better on the pitch.
In addition, there are basketball players, tennis players, actors, actresses, singers, and politicians who look up to the former Barcelona captain.
Just like Portugal’s players, they are madly in love with Cristiano Ronaldo. All of Argentina’s footballers, both past and present, are rooting for Lionel Messi.
Who are the popular players who idolize Lionel Messi?
1. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
The Canadian left-back never revealed his football idol until he played against Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals in 2020.
Of course, Alphonso Davies dazzled impressively in the game, as he single-handedly buried the Blaugranas defense line.
Through UEFA that time, Davies said:
“My mum called me yesterday and then my dad hopped on the phone, and he was like: ‘So you’re playing against your favourite player, I see.”
Obviously, Alphonso’s family knows he idolizes Lionel Messi. It’s unbelievable to see a left-back learning from the Argentine, maybe because they are both left footed.
2. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
As a Barcelona’s player, it’s wise enough to believe that the Spanish youngster idolizes the Argentina international. They once played together at the club.
Ansu Fati started his career at Barcelona, so he grew up learning and watching Lionel Messi. And he always wants to be like the seventh Ballon D’or winner.
After making his debut in 2019, Fati said:
“Playing with Messi is a dream I had since I was a child and now I am living it. He gives me a lot of advice, he helps me a lot on the pitch and in training, but away from it too, and that makes me very happy.”
Ansu Fati is more of an all-around attacker, therefore, he has many things to learn from the Argentine captain. Interestingly, he always looks up to his idol.
3. Isco (former Real Madrid player)
Apparently, it’s weird to see a Real Madrid’s product as one of the players who idolize Lionel Messi. Because all Los Blancos footballers always look up to Ronaldo.
Profile-wise, Isco is more like the Paris Saint-Germain playmaker, he loves to attack from the midfield like Messi. They have many things in common.
In 2013, Isco told Goal, he said:
“I named my dog ‘Messi’ because Messi is the best in the world, and so is my dog.”
As a result of their rivalry, Real Madrid’s fans are fond of going for their players’ heads whenever they support Messi or any of Barcelona’s players.
4. Julian Álvarez (Manchester City)
Obviously, the Citizens’ youngster was on the pitch with Messi in Qatar during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He always gushes over the Argentine captain.
Julian Álvarez is one of the players who idolizes Lionel Messi. He’s an Argentine player, and always wants to learn from the seventh Ballon D’or winner.
Through Manchester City’s official website in 2022, he said:
“Messi has been my idol since I was a child. He is my family’s idol, the idol of my brothers too.”
Julian Álvarez was on cloud nine after winning the FIFA World Cup with Lionel. His statistics at Manchester City show that he has been learning from the best.
5. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
According to ESPN in 2018, the Blues attacker gladly chose Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo as his football idol. Which means he has been learning from the Argentine.
Most Chelsea players look up to the Portuguese magnifico. Therefore, it’s surprising to see Christian Pulisic on the list of players who idolize Lionel Messi.
In 2028, the American captain was asked whether Ronaldo is better than Messi, he said:
“It’s not an easy one [who is better], but I would say Messi, because growing up he was always my favorite.”
Obviously, the American captain usually moves and attacks like the Parisians’ player. Even though he’s a right footed, he’s dangerous in 1v1 situations.
6. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
Despite the fact that Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli look up to Cristiano Ronaldo. Rowe chose Messi as his football idol.
Of course, Emile Smith Rowe has been making waves at Arsenal; his combination with Bukayo Saka always rescues the Gunners.
In 2021, the Englishman told Goal:
“When I was kid I looked up to Messi and Iniesta.”
Profile-wise, the English youngster seems like Messi, because he plays mostly as a midfielder. He loves to attack from the midfield, combining with the attackers on the pitch.
7. Enzo Fernández (Chelsea)
The West London club’s midfielder looks up to many players in the world of football. However, his football idol remains Lionel Messi, having seen their partnership in Qatar.
The former Benfica star boy confirmed that he’s learning from Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Regardless, he always looks up to the Argentine captain, rooting for him since childhood.
Enzo Fernández on Messi: “Leo is my idol, I think he knows it. I’ve watched all his matches since I was kid. It hurt me when the press criticized him, because I was such a big fan and I wrote him a letter to tell him what I felt. I love him, he’s my idol and he’ll always be.”
The Argentine youngster was the young player of the tournament during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. His combination with Messi paid off for Argentina.
8. Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
The Dutch midfielder is one of the players who idolizes Lionel Messi, he can actually do anything for the Argentine captain. They once played together at Barcelona.
Frenkie De Jong declared that he chose to join Barcelona because of Messi. Even though he’s now irreplaceable under Xavi Hernández.
In 2019, the Dutchman said:
“I have admired Messi since my childhood. It’s special to be on the pitch with him. Sometimes he does a few things…and then you also enjoy yourself on the pitch.”
Of course, Frenkie De Jong is a role model for many players on his own. Nevertheless, his football idol remains Messi, despite the fact that he’s a midfielder.
9. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
The 19-year-old German attacking midfielder is another player, who has been looking up to Lionel Messi since his childhood. As regards his position, he can learn things from the Argentine.
In April 2022, Florian Wirtz told Sky Sports Germany:
“My first jersey was Messi’s Argentina jersey. When I was little, he was the best player there was at the time in the world. I watched videos of him, was a fan of his – I wanted to be as good as him.”
Apparently, the German youngster has been learning many things from the Argentine captain. He’s currently one of the best players for Bayer Leverkusen this campaign.
As an attacking midfielder, he has the ability to be as good as Messi in the future. Having been just 19-year-old, he has a massive room for improvement.
10. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
Obviously, the Brazilian playmaker is a diehard fan of Lionel Messi, one of the players who can lay down their lives for the seventh Ballon D’or winner.
Neymar confirmed that Messi has been his football idol since his days at Santos, before his move to Barcelona. And he keeps looking up to him at Paris Saint-Germain.
Just like Kylian Mbappe values Cristiano Ronaldo. Neymar values and respects Lionel Messi, even though they are currently teammates in Ligue 1.
During his time at Barcelona, the Brazilian international declared that he learned many things from Messi. And he has helped his football career.