Ryan Gauld: What happened to former wonderkid dubbed 'the Scottish Messi'?


Vancouver is a long way from Scotland, and an even longer way from Barcelona. In many ways, Canada seems a world away from those two locales, and that's before you get into any talk of footballing history.

But it's in the Pacific Northwest you can find the player once dubbed 'the Scottish Messi', Ryan Gauld, tearing up MLS defenses. He's been there for nearly two years now, showing some of the attributes that, in his youth, saw him compared to arguably the sport's greatest ever player.

Those comparisons came when he was a teenager, when the weight of the world was tossed onto his shoulders by a country dying out for a star. They dubbed him the next Messi, but few thought he could ever live up to that label, because who could? He'd at least be the next Kenny Dalglish, though, right? Maybe the next Denis Law?

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In the end, Gauld hasn't become the hero Scotland has cried out for, at least not yet. After experiencing setback after setback throughout Europe, he's seemingly found a home far from home, a place where he can express himself without that pressure surrounding him.