Ruud Gullit believes Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Manchester City’s Phil Foden could play for Barcelona, as the duo prepare to face off in the Champions League.
Mount, 22, has enjoyed a superb season at Stamford Bridge, scoring in Chelsea’s quarter-final victory over Porto and semi-final win over Real Madrid.
Foden, 21, has enjoyed an equally impressive campaign for Man City, playing a role in 28 goals and helping Pep Guardiola’s side win the Premier League and EFL Cup.
Gullit has warned fans against comparing Mount or Foden to all-time great Lionel Messi but insists the Premier League stars are capable of playing for Barcelona.
He wrote in a column for BBC Sport: ‘The world is looking for the next Lionel Messi but, please, don’t compare either Foden or Mount to him. It’s not fair, because it’s not possible to be another Messi.
‘He is a total one-off. They can be their own players, and have their own great careers but they won’t do what Messi has done.
‘When I chose Foden as my Premier League player of the year, I said he was in Messi’s category, but I meant in the type of player he is, not the level he is at.
‘Foden could have been a Barcelona player, like Messi, Andres Iniesta or Xavi, and he is not a typical English player. Mount is the same.
‘I think it’s important to realise why there are more players like this coming through at English teams, because it has not always been like this.
‘The typical English player when I came to play here in 1995 was a big, strong player with head wounds and bruises and things like that. That’s over.
‘This new generation is different, they are all technical players. Smaller, skilful, agile. Wonderful footballers. You want them in your team, and you want to get them on the ball.
‘England have produced some of those before, of course, but I don’t think they were always given a proper chance in the Premier League. Now they are trusted more.
‘You are lucky to have them, but it is also lucky that they have had the right coaches. With Foden and Mount it was Pep Guardiola, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel who gave them their opportunity.’
Mount and Foden will meet in Saturday’s Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City.
Chelsea have already beaten Manchester City twice under Thomas Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January, but finished 19 points behind the Premier League champions in the 2020-21 standings.
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