The last decade has seen endless comparisons between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and, even when the Portuguese moved from LaLiga Santander to Juventus, the debate continued. The gap left by both players will never be filled, but it’s now time to look to the future and focus on the new, exciting, young talent on show in El Clasico.
Ansu Fati of Barcelona and Vinicius of Real Madrid are seen as the new stars of LaLiga Santander’s biggest fixture, and the two youngsters are set to go head-to-head on Sunday at the Camp Nou.
Ansu Fati is going into the game in a rebuilding period after recently returning from injury, while Vinicius is in full flow at Madrid.
The Real Madrid man is fresh off of scoring a double against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, as well as having scored another five so far in LaLiga Santander this season, which takes him to seven goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.
Barcelona’s Fati does have two goals to his name, though, having played just 94 minutes this season. He is undoubtedly a threat in front of goal, which is something his counterpart has always been criticised for.
Vinicius is flourishing under Carlo Ancelotti, though, and has scored more already this season than he did in 49 games last campaign. Vinicius also has a slightly better pass success rate (84.3 percent) than Fati (78.7 percent), suggesting he chooses the better option in forward areas.
There’s no doubt that Vinicius is coming into this game in better shape, with Fati needing more minutes on the pitch to get himself up to scratch.
In games like this, though, form goes out the window and many in the world of football agree.
“They’re two similar players, who have a great ability to change a game,” says Paco Jemez.
“Vinicius has got great speed and ability and he’s one of the best dribblers out there right now. Though, I think Ansu has more goals in him.”
In terms of the Clasico, Jemez has also given his opinion on both players.
“Vini is a player who is in his rhythm and has a lot of confidence right now,” he said.
“I think Ansu is doing very well as well, although I don’t know if he’s going to last the full 90 minutes. Probably not.
“This will probably mean he’ll give his all as he knows his time on the pitch could be limited.”
We are looking at two young players who could be the face of the Clasico for years to come. Their talents are undeniable and one has to think that the sky really is the limit for both of them.
It will be a fascinating watch on Sunday as the pair compete against each other to claim a vital three points in LaLiga Santander.