Despite his apparent intent to defy the laws of nature, Cristiano Ronaldo cannot continue his extraordinary career forever. Eusébio, Paulo Futre, Luís Figo and Ronaldo are four of the biggest stars the world game has ever produced. With the Madeiran magician’s career winding down, who will step into the breach to become Portugal’s next global superstar?

Fortunately, the Seleção is blessed with several candidates to step into the breach, take the mantle as Portugal’s best player, and carve out a niche for himself as one of the true greats of the game. PortuGOAL looks at three players who have a fighting chance of hitting such heights.

Portugal currently boasts plenty of rising stars that are worth paying attention to. In terms of sports betting, the best thing is that these rising stars will often offer higher odds and better payouts. By closely tracking their careers and abilities, you can likely make some decent bets that could end up winning you a fortune.

Those who are interested in betting on some of the rising stars should pay particular attention to the following three footballers who have already reached an elite level. They’ve shown a lot of promise in their career thus far, and may soon become among the biggest names in football history. Online betting services not only offer enticing odds and boundless opportunities, but also sportingbet free betting offer for new customers. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Gelson Martins

Like Figo and then Ronaldo, Gelson Martins graduated from Sporting’s youth academy. Ever since his debut, people have marvelled over his lightning dribbling skills and ability to bamboozle defenders.

Martins put his talents to good use playing for Portugal’s youth teams, notably at the U20 FIFA World Cup 2015, where he scored twice in the tournament. Upon the appointment of Jorge Jesus at Sporting, the experienced coach immediately made Gelson – he goes by his first name only in Portugal – a regular first-team starter despite having just turned 20 years old. The youngster did incredibly well at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2016/2017 in a Champions League tie against Real Madrid, putting in a man-of-the-match performance, and he has now firmly established himself as a key player in Sporting’s team.

Raphael Guerreiro

Many football analysts and pundits say the future of the game will increasingly involve players who are comfortable playing in multiple positions. If that is true, then you’ll want to keep your focus on Raphael Guerreiro. He does an excellent job in defence – he is Portugal’s first-choice left-back – but is equally at home and effective in midfield or even as a winger.

Much like Gelson, Guerreiro is blessed with lightning fast reflexes, but it is his thought processes and rapid execution in a variety of situations, always making the right decision, that makes the French-born Dortmund player such a singular talent. Moreover, he has great energy throughout games, giving it his all until the last second. In fact, his nickname is ‘The Battery’. So impressive was he at Euro 2016 that many believe he was deserving of the Young Player of the Tournament Award, which was attributed to his compatriot, Renato Sanches. Many individual and team awards surely await.

Bernardo Silva

Widely touted as the biggest talent to emerge out of Portugal since Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester City’s attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva is an immensely exciting prospect now under the guidance of one of the game’s greatest ever coaches, Pep Guardiola.

Silva’s astonishing close control, creativity, football intelligence and surprisingly bristling competitiveness given his slight physique set him apart ever since he starred for Benfica’s B team. A transfer to Monaco followed, where Bernardo quickly established himself as a regular and one of the French side’s leading lights.

His career in Ligue 1 culminated as a key protagonist in a spectacularly successful campaign, beating PSG to the championship title and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. A switch to the English giants for €50 million followed, and the Portuguese midfield maestro is contributing to one of the most exciting teams ever assembled.

Conclusion

Keep an eye out on the rising stars just as much as you keep an eye out on legendary players. You never know which rising star may step foot into the spotlight and become a legend one day.

 

Comments (11)

  1. jon/usa

While we do have an extremely exciting crop of young players coming through, I don't see anyone who can reach the heights of Eusebio or Ronaldo, and perhaps not even that of Luis Figo. However, that's not to say that we do not have world-class...

While we do have an extremely exciting crop of young players coming through, I don't see anyone who can reach the heights of Eusebio or Ronaldo, and perhaps not even that of Luis Figo. However, that's not to say that we do not have world-class players in the making; it's just that players like Eusebio and Ronaldo in particular only come around every 40-50 years. Figo isn't in the greatest of all time conversation with the aforementioned Ronaldo and Eusebio, but he was still one of the finest players of his generation and undoubtedly one of the greatest wingers to have ever graced the game.

As of right now, I would argue that our most promising young talents are Bernardo Silva, Goncalo Guedes, and Ruben Neves. Then we have the likes of William Carvalho, Joao Mario, Nelson Semedo, Raphael Guerreiro, Ricardo Pereira, Bruma, Gelson, etc who are all elite or on the verge of becoming elite. Therefore, while we probably won't be producing another Ballon d'or winner any time soon, we definitely have more than enough quality coming through to field some extremely strong squads in the coming years.

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  1. Martim F. Lucena

Out of those three, Bernardo Silva...and it's not even close.

But no one right now will come close to emulating Ronaldo's club and country credentials. And that goes beyond a "Portuguese crop." When Ronaldo finally wraps it up, he will be in...

Out of those three, Bernardo Silva...and it's not even close.

But no one right now will come close to emulating Ronaldo's club and country credentials. And that goes beyond a "Portuguese crop." When Ronaldo finally wraps it up, he will be in excess of 30+ club trophies, 10+ individual trophies and 700+ goals...no one today or in the next 20 years, aside from Messi can be held in the same breadth.

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  1. judao

i still believe renato sanches is our next big thing. its unfortunate he couldnt adjust to life at bayern and england. but i feel he will eventually go back to portugal and start from the basics. then after a few years when he is 22 he should not...

i still believe renato sanches is our next big thing. its unfortunate he couldnt adjust to life at bayern and england. but i feel he will eventually go back to portugal and start from the basics. then after a few years when he is 22 he should not repeat the same mistakes and hopefully go to a big club with a portuguese manager where his confidence would be high. then who knows by the time he is 26 he could be like edgar davids or our very own joao pinto.

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  1. ---Z---

I agree with the comment about no one being likely to approach cristiano ronaldo or Eusebio.

I also doubt any of them
Would reach the more accessible level of Luis figo, Rui costa, or mario coluna.

I think Andre silva is overlooked and wrongly...

I agree with the comment about no one being likely to approach cristiano ronaldo or Eusebio.

I also doubt any of them
Would reach the more accessible level of Luis figo, Rui costa, or mario coluna.

I think Andre silva is overlooked and wrongly omitted from the candidates list. He's got the physical qualities and has shown an eye for goal. I personally think he is Portugals best prospect.

Bernardo silva will never be a consistent world class performer. He lacks stamina and resilience. He will be a good player nothing more .

Gelson martins will reach about Nani,s, level, which isn't bad either .

That's my honest opinion. We will be blessed with many good players imo but few great ones and nobody who would be included in the GOAT discussions such as cristiano .

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  1. Daniel DaSilva

Our best prospect unfortunately is William a DM. Next after him in this order, Guerreiro, B Silva, Cedric, Guedes, J Mario.

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  1. Nelly

Interesting perspective I totally agree with Bernardo Silva however I haven’t been impressed with Gelson as much as I have been by Goncalo Guedes. I think him and Bernardo will form a killer partnership for Portugal for years to come.

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  1. George

For me, in order to be recognized as a world-class, global superstar - you need to be compared to the superstars of today. And by that I mean, you need to show flashes of the same type of skills that we see from the biggest names in the game...

For me, in order to be recognized as a world-class, global superstar - you need to be compared to the superstars of today. And by that I mean, you need to show flashes of the same type of skills that we see from the biggest names in the game today. Taking the two biggest names in the game today into account - Ronaldo and Messi - I think there are two players that jump to the forefront of my mind: Gonçalo Guedes and Diogo Jota.

In Guedes, we've already seen flashes of CR7 pace, determination, versatility, and recovery time. Add to that he can score in many different ways, and in similar way to Ronaldo, and I think he's got a shot at the mantle. The thing that will push him into the Ronaldo stratosphere is consistency. We'll only be able to make that judgment in time.

With regards to Jota, who I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned yet, I see a Messi-type of player: small, pace, incredible vision, versatile in positioning again, and, can score many different goals as well. He's an incredibly adaptable player and, if his time in the rough and tumble Championship has shown anything, it's that he's even more adaptable than I thought.

To clarify, I'm not saying these players are exactly the same but, the skill set and attitude is there. I'm very curious to see how these players develop and what they will look like when they're surrounded by better players who'll afford them a bit more space.

And, from a Portugal perspective, the idea of watching a Ronaldo-lite Guedes play alongside a Messi-lite Jota is salivating.

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  1. SupremoGino

I know how easy it is to come to the conclusion that none of our current crop of players will reach the heights of Eusebio, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Luis Figo but I'm not that quick to write them off, not this generation at least. I thought the...

I know how easy it is to come to the conclusion that none of our current crop of players will reach the heights of Eusebio, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Luis Figo but I'm not that quick to write them off, not this generation at least. I thought the same about Cristiano when he was just beginning his career.. tons of potential but couldn't imagine seeing him reach the level of Zidane or Ronaldinho. Now 14 years later, it would be a travesty to not include him in the same conversation.

And I don't think Figo gets enough credit.. he does belong in World XI all time discussions (in my opinion), Eusebio and Cristiano filled into the striker role in their career, which means more goals leading to more attention. There are some things that cannot be recognized through statistical data but only by watching with your own eyes the capabilities of a certain player. Like Ricardo Quaresma in his prime, nobody can deny his world class attributes which so clearly surpassed that of CR's but CR gets all the accolades because he had a more successful career thanks to his immense desire and hard work.

Any how it's not easy to point who stands out in our pool of young talented players because there's so many of them! My picks would be Goncalo Guedes, Renato Sanches, Bernardo Silva, Bruma, Gelson Martins, and Marcos Lopes. And I can see why Raphael Guerreiro's name is in the article because he snubbed bigger clubs to ensure he gets regular playing time.

This is what it will come down to. Which one of these players want to cement their legacy as one of the greatest in Portugal and the world, and not sell themselves short by going to play in some environment.. where the odds of their growth being stunted are stacked... or even worse settling in rich underdeveloped football nations just to fatten their wallets?

The person who follows this advice will end up the next best Portuguese player of his generation. I guarantee it.

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  1. Marcel Trinity

I think Guedes has higher ceiling than all of the above (not to take anything away from them). Also don’t count out Renato Sanches just yet.

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  1. Emanuel    Marcel Trinity

Myself included have wondered about the next Ronaldo for Portugal, but in all honesty, just as long as Portugal stays competitive and finds the right players and chemistry, we should be fine, we have enough talent across the board to still stay...

Myself included have wondered about the next Ronaldo for Portugal, but in all honesty, just as long as Portugal stays competitive and finds the right players and chemistry, we should be fine, we have enough talent across the board to still stay atop the international competition, Portugal will undoubtedly have another world class player for sure, it's on the making as we speak, we might have to wait sometime, but it's coming along!!!! Go Portugal!!!

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  1. joe

Goncalo Guedes is next one if anyone is going to be. The others are either too slight physically, are inconsistent or can't put the ball in the back of the net with any regularity. In any case Santos has a lot to worry about for the WC as a lot...

Goncalo Guedes is next one if anyone is going to be. The others are either too slight physically, are inconsistent or can't put the ball in the back of the net with any regularity. In any case Santos has a lot to worry about for the WC as a lot of these are mostly bench warmers.

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