Jet-heeled Manchester United-bound winger Daniel James was likened to eight-time Olympic gold medallist sprinter Usain Bolt and Brazil icon Ronaldo by Hungary coach Marco Rossi ahead of Tuesday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Wales.
James, 21, is on the brink of a move to Old Trafford from Welsh side Swansea City, with the clubs already agreeing a deal reported to be worth £18million.
The tricky wideman came to prominence this season, playing 33 times for the Swans in the Championship, scoring four times and setting up another seven.
His blistering pace is the attribute most have taken note of, with one particular goal against Brentford February’s FA Cup meeting showcasing James’ speed, as he left all the defenders in his tracks before finishing coolly.
Strong form for Swansea saw James break into Wales’ senior squad in November and, prior to facing Hungary, opposing coach Rossi – a former Serie A player with Brescia and Sampdoria – showered the talent with praise.
“James’ speed reminds me of Usain Bolt – to be so fast like him is really incredible,” Rossi told a news conference on Monday.
“In the last years I don’t remember one player that gave me this sensation. His acceleration is so extraordinary, which is why Manchester United have bought him.
“In the past, I played against a very fast player who, for me, was the best after [Diego] Maradona – Ronaldo.
“He was just not known for speed, but for everything. His acceleration looked like James’, though at the moment the skills are a little bit different.”
Hungary host Wales looking to extend their strong start to Euro 2020 qualification, while Ryan Giggs’ side will be desperate to bounce back from Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Croatia.