Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona’s grandson and more: rating football celebrities’ children by their potential

Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona’s grandson and more: rating football celebrities’ children by their potential

Veterans like Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez are entering the final stage of their unbelievable careers. This doesn’t mean we won’t be hearing their names after they hang their boots – their sons follow them everywhere and might actually pursue a career in professional football as well.

Here we take a look at how some of the most famous players’ sons develop and provide you with brief scout reports.

5. Benjamin Aguero

While we have the likes of Thiago Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Jr on this list, it’s Benjamin Aguero who has the best genetics for a young player – his dad is Sergio Aguero while his maternal grandad is… Diego Maradona. Godfather? Lionel Messi. What a mad bloodline.

The 15-year-old made his first big steps in football only two years ago when Sergio revealed his son had been training with Argentine side Tigre’s U13 team.

“I called him there, congratulated him and told him: 'Look, you have all this year to get your act together and then see if you really like it.'”

The kid was initially standing out for his dribbling and technique and looked more of Maradona’s profile than Aguero’s. Back then already, Benjamin scored a goal Diego would’ve been surely proud of.

What a skill and what a finish to beat the goalie.

Less than a year later, Benja made his official debut for one of Tigre’s youth sides in the best possible fashion: it took place at a stadium where his father was making his first steps in the game. Just like Sergio, his son was wearing the no. 9 shirt.

Despite some decent potential shown in training sessions and matches, the young Aguero left the club in January 2024 in search of a new challenge. From what it seemed, Benja didn’t show enough commitment and was even spotted rooting for Boca Juniors at the Maracana while his team were playing.

The teenager doesn’t give up on the game anyway: shortly after leaving Tigre, he signed for Independiente where Sergio spent nine years of his early career. This could be a historic signing in the long term as the youngster aims to make his professional debut in the coming years.

Sergio doesn’t put any pressure on Benja’s career choice unless it’s actually a football path: "I am quite demanding and honest. If I'm going to go see him play, I don't want to see him if he doesn't try or he doesn't care. If he is really going to want to play because he loves soccer, perfect. If he doesn't care and goes as a hobby, he doesn't go with me.”

4. Kai Rooney

The story of Wayne Rooney’s eldest child is truly special: born in Liverpool, he was enrolled in the Manchester United academy seven years later but shortly switched to… Manchester City. However, after some short spell in the US, when his father played for D.C. United, he came back to United where he has been growing for almost four years now.

Kai’s re-integration with the Red Devils went very well as he swiftly broke the club’s all-time record for goals scored for the U12 side in a single season, 56, while also delivering 28 assists. Some time later, Kai found the net in a U13 cup final against Manchester City to show what part of Manchester his heart really belongs to.

Some of Rooney’s strikes are truly magnificent and can be compared to what Benjamin Suarez does: his goalscoring instincts are something else and he often beats defenders in style.

“He's enjoying it. That's the most important thing. He's doing everything he can to try to have a career in football and not just him, my other children as well,” Wayne told The Athletic in 2023. Seems like Kai is really determined to have a glorious career in professional football.

Let’s just agree he looks really organic with this accolade that looks similar to the Premier League Player of the Month award.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo Jr

The kid’s love for kicking the ball stems from his early childhood: “I have 30 balls at home. He is always with the ball and he loves it. But I will not force him to be a player because it comes naturally. It has to be his choice. He will be whatever he wants to be, I am not going to push him at all. But obviously I want Cristiano to be a player. A top one, like his,” the Portuguese legend said back in 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s oldest son emulates the latter stages of his father’s career. While the Portuguese legend was primarily a wide midfielder in his youth, ‘Cristianinho’ is a keen goalscorer who plays almost in the same positions as today’s Cristiano.

The 13-year-old has no problem at adapting to his father’s new clubs: he’s been at Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and now at Al Nassr. His breakthrough arguably took place at Juve: at some point, Ronaldo Jr had a record of 58 goals and 18 assists in just 28 games for their U9 side, scoring four on his debut alone. This is when Cristiano made a lovely post with his child posing with a trophy.

The boy once received some special recognition from Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother, Maria Dolores.

“At his age, Cristiano Jr plays better than Ronaldo. At the time, Ronaldo didn't have a coach, but today he is his son's teacher. I already told Cristiano that I want to see him play for Sporting before I die. If it's not him, it will be his son, he plays better than him."

Cristiano Junior proves his case in Saudi Arabia. He has found the net in their recent match in which Al Nassr actually clinched the U13 league title.

Cristiano once revealed his son’s dream of playing alongside his father one day. Cristiano Ronald Junior is 13, so maybe he’ll be able to fulfill it with Al Nassr in two or three years already?

2. Thiago Messi

It’s hard to believe it, but Leo’s eldest son has already been part of three different clubs – Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and now Inter Miami. The way he plays reminds us of modern Messi: unlike his father, who used to play on the wings as a kid, Thiago is more of a midfielder who looks particularly good at dictating tempo and distributing the ball. He’s not afraid of pressure, looking really calm and composed in possession.

Another thing that catches the eye is that the 11-year-old doesn’t seem ‘protected’ on the pitch: he sometimes goes into tackles and doesn’t look afraid of clashing with his opponent. He surely watches those Gavi comps in his free time!

One thing Thiago didn’t inherit from his father is a strong left foot. He’s a righty, but things he does with the right foot are magical too.

Leo once singled out Thiago’s interest in tactics and game understanding.

“Thiago understands more because he is older [among the brothers] and discusses everything about the game. I already have a couple of criticisms [from Thiago]. He follows Barcelona, La Liga and the Champions League. He likes it, asks questions, reports and he tells me when things are not so good.”

Next year carries some symbolic importance for Thiago Messi: his father was exactly 12 when he caught the eye of FC Barcelona. Thiago’s current record for Inter Miami U12 is 13 goals and seven assists in just six games, so he really looks like a special talent… and he has the streets already.

1. Benjamin Suarez

Despite being one year younger than Thiago, Luis Suarez’s eldest son has recently reunited with Leo’s kid as the Uruguayan joined Inter Miami.

Look how cute they are.

In 2017, it was reported that little Suarez ‘showed the most potential’ compared to Thiago Messi and Gerard Pique’s son, Milan. It was at that time when Leo revealed Benja’s complete obsession with the game.

“He is football crazy. He loves to play football, he watches football, he knows all the players. And Thiago no, he likes cars, he likes motorcycles, he plays other things. He likes football, but just a bit. He plays a bit, and he gets tired."

Back then, all the three boys were part of La Masia. Since 2020, when Luis was kicked out of Barca, Benjamin has been forced to travel a lot with his father, adapting to life and football in Madrid before going to Uruguay, Brazil and now the US.

Expectedly, Benja was a pure goalscorer from the off, inheriting his daddy’s best qualities – pace, the ability to break away from defenders, finishing. At Atletico, the kid bagged an impressive 28 goals in just 19 matches and won a youth cup, quickly becoming the team’s leader.

Atletico is where Benja’s acrobatic finishes started to improve. He really does many things like his dad. Look at this worldie he hit while playing in Brazil.

Benjamin Suarez ends up becoming a standout talent everywhere he goes. He’s a born winner with an eye for goal, and we predict a really bright future for the young lad.

AuthorKosta Kö