The only praise that ranks higher than being likened to an international legend is being compared to one by the actual icon himself. This is the admiration and applaud young defender Hector Bellerin received from the widely respected Cafu.
The former Brazil international and AC Milan ace was also a right-back, similar to Hector, having won numerous trophies in his heyday from two FIFA World Cup trophies to a Champions League title during his San Siro days.
As a result, acclaim from the 46-year-old is no joke. The retired Selecao captain admitted to seeing himself in the Gunners’ 21-year-old full-back after sitting down with Arsenal for a Q&A session via Twitter, tipping the Spaniard to enjoy an exciting career.
Cafu said: “He [Bellerin] is very fast and very impressive. [He has a] big, big future!”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) September 2, 2016
Bellerin, who joined the north London outfit from Barcelona as a youngster, has enjoyed a meteoric rise at the Emirates Stadium to become one of the club’s most exciting prospects in recent years.
An unfortunate injury crisis towards the second half of the 2014/15 season saw the Spaniard promoted to the first-team, with a string of stellar displays cementing his place in the starting eleven. Since then, he hasn’t put a foot wrong, starting and subsequently completing all but two of Arsenal’s games last campaign.
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Cafu is currently in England, as the 1994 and 2002 World Cup winner is set to participate in this weekend’s Arsenal Legends vs Milan Glorie charity match.
Match Preview to follow