The future of individual football rivalries after the Messi and Ronaldo era

3) Eden Hazard ( 27, Chelsea) vs Neymar (26, PSG)

The Belgium was in inspirational form in Russia for the national team winning 3 man of the match titles. He scored 3 goals and assisted two but his impact was more than what stats suggest. He was at his absolute best against Brazil giving the defenders run for their money. He has carried his best form in the Premier league this season. As many expected, Hazard is flourishing in Sarri’s free flowing football. He has been imperative in Blues’ rise back to the top. The fact is that neutralizing Chelsea largely depends on stopping Hazard, which is not always an easy task. His direct competitor in the future looks like Neymar. The Brazilian did not have the best of the world cups last summer but was still quintessential in the Seleccao’s run. At PSG, Neymar has been vital winning 3 man of the match in 5 group stage games. Playing him centrally has made PSG even more dangerous. If the Brazilian can continue his form, PSG might just make it far enough in the Champions league.

2) Harry Kane (25, Tottenham) vs Paulo Dybala (25, Juventus)

The one season wonder Harry Kane has now also won the Golden Boot scoring six times in the World Cup. So much for being the one season wonder, Kane continues to defy critics. He seems to be getting better with each passing game and his relentless desire is making him a force of nature. Kane has once again been scoring goals for Tottenham and is going to crucial to everything Spurs hope to do this season. On the other hand, it was expected that Ronaldo’s arrival might hamper Dybala’s chances. But the Argentine has been possibly helped by Ronaldo’s arrival. The Portuguese has taken the limelight away from Dybala, which has gotten him flourishing. It is worth noting that Dybala has outscored Ronaldo in the Champions league thus far but still no one is talking about him. That might just be the key to unlocking Dybala’s potential. Dybala’s versatility makes him a huge asset for the Old Lady and they will be hoping Dybala continues his best form as they look to reach the Champions league final once again.

1)Jadon Sancho (18, Borrusia Dortmund) vs Vinicius Junior (18, Real Madrid)

All the hype is apparently right. Jadon Sancho despite his tender age is already looking like a world-beater. He has been in splendid form for Black and Yellow which has already earned him a senior cap for Three Lions. In addition, he has been keeping Christian Pulisic on the bench which is no easy task for a 18-year old. Sancho already has the world excited and if he can continue his rise, there are certainly no limits to what he could achieve. Vincius Junior is another player who has been at the centre of the attention in what has been a disappointing season for Los Blancos. He has been impressive in the little playing time he has had thus far. Solari trusts him and that would be vital in Junior’s career growth.