Former Nigeria international and Chelsea star Celestine Babayaro has played down the hype surrounding his 11 year old son Ryan who has been dubbed “Little Messi” by his team-mates, coaches and friends at Newcastle United.
Ryan is at Newcastle United, the last club his father represented in Europe during his playing career, and after sweeping countless school awards, he came to global attention when Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez singled him out for praise and a contract at the club after a dazzling display.
However Celestine who now works as a TV pundit said the little Messi tag ascribed to his son might be a bit too early but understands why the hype surrounding his rise lead to the nickname.
” It’s nice to have him as Ryan not little Messi (laughs). He still has a long way to go if he is to make it professionally as a footballer but that is his wish, and as his father I have to pray and support his wishes to be a footballer”, Babayaro exclusively told Owngoalnigeria.com.
” I understand reason behind the little Messi tag. He is left footed like I was during my playing days, and there’s an unwritten rule that somehow means every left footed kid is compared to the legendary Messi. Ryan still has time and age to reach same height if he keeps working hard”.