Ronaldinho backs Gabriel Jesus to emulate Messi and become world's best

Manchester City Swansea Gabriel Jesus
The former World Player of the Year believes his fellow Brazilian will follow superstars at Barcelona, including Neymar, in topping the global charts

Ronaldinho has backed Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus to tread a similar path to Lionel Messi and Neymar and become the world’s best player.

The former Barcelona star acknowledges that a man currently gracing Camp Nou is the finest on the planet.

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He considers Argentine talisman Messi to be the greatest performer of his generation and believes that baton will eventually be handed to club colleague Neymar.

Ronaldinho is, however, convinced that City’s latest teenage starlet boasts the potential to grace the very top of the game.

Manchester City Swansea Gabriel Jesus

Gabriel Jesus has enjoyed a dazzling start to his Premier League career, netting three goals in his last two appearances.

“Manchester City have a very special player with Gabriel Jesus,” two-time World Player of the Year Ronaldinho said in The Sun.

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“Maybe even, in the future, the best player in the world.

“At the moment it is Messi. I have always said I think one day it will be Neymar. But at 19, in the future, it can be Gabriel. He has all the abilities to make that happen.”

Ronaldinho believes City have also taken the right approach by throwing Gabriel Jesus in at the deep end following his winter arrival and resisted the urge to keep him out of the limelight.

Ronaldinho Brazil

“I don’t always agree that players should always be eased in — it depends on the type of player,” said the 2002 World Cup winner.

“You look at Gabriel Jesus and he has no fear at all. He just wants to play and show what he can do. He will put in big ­performances against Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and all the other top teams in England.

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“I’m pleased he has been named in the Champions League squad and I think he should play, he is full of confidence.

“Ronaldo, Kaka, myself and, more recently, Neymar were playing at the highest level at a young age. Gabriel is in that ­category.”