Jadon Sancho’s recent exploits for the Three Lions have earned him a lot of plaudits but there is one aspect of his game that has been overlooked–a particular trait that he shares with none other than the greatest player of all time in Lionel Messi.
In England’s 4-0 EURO 2020 quarter-final win over Ukraine, Sancho got his first start of the tournament and was fairly successful in proving a point to his coach Gareth Southgate.
The winger was one of England’s best attackers and caused all sorts of trouble for Ukrainian defenders by winning seven duels and completing four of the six dribbles that he attempted. Sancho was a dribbling menace and attracted plenty of fouls–but he tried his best to stay up on his feet for most of the time.
Doesn’t go down looking for fouls
Footage from the Ukraine match has emerged following the game, where Sancho is seen to be taking on two of the Ukrainian players in Sergiy Sydorchok and Andriy Yarmalenko.
Sancho is seen to ward off Sydorchok’s threat with his nimble feet, but Yarmalenko was much more physical with his approach–the West Ham United man kicked Sancho from the back with full intention to take him out.
While Sancho visibly stuttered with pain at the moment, he did not go to the ground immediately and instead took on Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Sancho’s decision not to go to the ground is commendable–in a generation where players try and simulate at the slightest contact, it is a rare trait seen in modern footballers.
A certain modern footballer who shares this trait with the 21-year-old is Barcelona superstar Leo Messi. The Argentine is famously reputed for being hesitant to go to the ground even when fouled, and carrying on with the match to carve out a better situation for his team.
The comparison is definitely a nod of appreciation for Sancho, who will look to hit the ground running after his recent transfer to Manchester United.
Jadon Sancho. Wow pic.twitter.com/S33sYpDiRc— 🅰️ (@Ahmed__Demha) July 3, 2021