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Past Meets Present as Rafael Leao Channels Maradona and Endrick Mirrors Ronaldo Nazario

Past Meets Present as Rafael Leao Channels Maradona and Endrick Mirrors Ronaldo Nazario

Fans of all sports worship their heroes and football fans are nothing different. Videos of budding players being touted for greatness replicating similar movements of other greats are almost always readily available. Sometimes, the players do it intentionally to gather clout and sometimes, all the stars line up to make it happen. 

Recently, two situations were caught on camera which rolled back the years. Portuguese winger Rafael Leao and Brazilian wonderkid Endrick were caught in moments that made them look like two of the biggest legends the game has ever seen. 


Rafa Leao is one of the most promising stars for both AC Milan and Portugal but he is 6’2” inches tall, plays with the right foot and plays on the left wing. So what could warrant a competition with the Argentine demigod who ruled with his wand of a left foot? 

A couple of days back a user posted a video where Leao was juggling the ball and he COULD NOT look more like Diego Maradona! He was wearing Milan’s grey T-shirt with his shorts shortened. What made it look so eerily alike was the tempo in which he was juggling. The video also had Maradona’s iconic pregame warm up routine from 1989 before Napoli faced Bayern Munich, playing simultaneously on the side.

Starting with his feet, he kicked the ball up and juggled with his forehead. After that, he kept on juggling. To the unassuming, it would appear as if the ball didn’t want to drop on the ground. There was a moment where it looked like he lost control of the ball but it kept glued to his feet. 

Nothing since Leo Messi’s goal against Getafe has looked more Maradona-esque than this footage. The video was captured before Milan’s game against Lecce at the San Siro last week. Leao also scored in the 57th minute of the game, taking his tally to 12 for the season.

Endrick de Lima

No, that is not Endrick’s real name but our pathetic attempt to match the likeness between him and Ronaldo Nazario de Lima. After winning the Paulista championship with Palmeiras, his fifth with the club, Endrick chose to nonchalantly hang his boots over his shoulders and pose for photographs. 

In the photograph, he looked exactly like the revered El Phenomeno. It doesn’t help that Endrick has a similar physique and plays as a striker for Brazil

The golden New Balance boots, the outrageous goggles, the numerous silverware had nothing in common with the defeated and dejected Ronaldo in 1998 holding the silver medal after losing the World Cup final against France. Yet the netizens were quick to spot the apparent similarities which outweighed the differences. 

Endrick has come into the fray like a blast from the past. He has the qualities of the number nine’s of the past. Low centre of gravity, deceptively quick, blocky and knows where the net is. At the ripe age of 17, he has already made his first big money move to Real Madrid. If current form is anything to go by, Endrick will set the world alight in the coming years.