Ronaldo sees Mbappe, Neymar and Rashford among his potential successors

Cristiano Ronaldo UEFA Player of the Year
Valery Hache
The Real Madrid star has tipped stars from the likes of Monaco, PSG and Manchester United to follow in his illustrious footsteps and land top awards

Cristiano Ronaldo believes Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Marcus Rashford are among those who can follow in his illustrious footsteps and dominate world football.

The Real Madrid superstar is current celebrating the landing of another top personal prize, with the 32-year-old named the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2016-17.

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That gong has been added to an enviable collection which already sees Ronaldo as the current holder of the Ballon d’Or and FIFA’s Best award.

The Portugal international has been locked in competition with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi for such prizes over the past decade, but he acknowledges that there is plenty of potential within the game ready to inherit the most prestigious of crowns.

Asked by reporters to name his possible successors after picking up his latest award, Ronaldo said: “That is a very good question. I see some with great potential: Asensio, Mbappé, Neymar, Dembele, Hazard, Rashford ... and some others. In the next generation there are at least 10 players with very, very great potential.”

Marco Asensio has established himself as a player of great promise alongside Ronaldo at Real Madrid, while Chelsea star Eden Hazard is among those to have been heavily linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu for some time.

Manchester United forward Rashford has also drawn links to Real, with the teenager’s potential having been noted both inside and outside of Old Trafford.

Kylian Mbappe Monaco 2017

Monaco sensation Mbappe could also end up in the Spanish capital at some stage, amid talk of record-breaking transfer deals, while Ousmane Dembele will soon be turning out in La Liga as Barcelona close on a move to make him the successor at Camp Nou to Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.

The current market movement, along with that still to come, is making the European game ever more competitive at the very highest level.

Ronaldo, though, does not believe that there will be any surprises in the 2017-18 Champions League as Real once again seek to fend off the competition and secure a third successive crown.

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He added: “The teams are the same every year - Real, Barca, Bayern, Paris, Juve. 

“I do not expect any surprise this year. Four of these teams will be in the semi-finals.”

A strong Premier League contingent will hope to have something to say about that, with Hazard and Rashford among those who will be hoping to lead an English charge which also includes Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City.