Gary Neville recently paid Kevin De Bruyne a flattering compliment.
Speaking on Sky Sports, he described the Belgian playmaker as a hybrid of Paul Scholes and David Beckham.
He didn’t mean that his old team-mates were worth half a De Bruyne each of course.
Neville simply meant the Man City midfielder’s style was part Scholes (passing) and part Becks (crossing).
This got us thinking.
If Scholes + Beckham = De Bruyne, what other football maths sums are there?
Carles Puyol + Christian Vieri = Sergio Ramos
Ramos has Puyol’s committed defensive traits and penchant for yellow cards.
But he also scores headed goals by the bucket-load (relatively speaking for a defender at least) hence the Vieri factor.
He protec, he attac, but most importantly, he bring this meme bac.
Didier Drogba ÷ Emile Heskey = Romelu Lukaku
Many of you will assume this is a dig at Lukaku — far from it.
It’s easy to forget that Leicester-era Heskey was a raging bull who was surprisingly quick across the ground.
However, the Belgian target man does also experience the occasional brain fart, a condition that marred Heskey’s reputation in his later years.
Lukaku has previously stated he models his game on Drogba and, to be honest, he’s probably a more natural finisher.
Dida x Xabi Alonso = Ederson
Ederson is a Brazilian shot-stopper with the passing range of a classical deep-lying midfielder.
We’ve double-checked this one on the calculator and it checks out.
Ronaldinho ÷ Robinho = Neymar
With all his rainbow kicks, flicks and rabona first-touches, Neymar is a joy to behold in full flight.
He is blessed with the same Brazilian flair that Ronaldinho had in abundance, but he’s nowhere near as popular.
That’s because his attitude is more akin to that of Robinho — aka the personification of squandered talent.
Michael Laudrup + Andres Iniesta = Isco
Yes, just yes.
For all the triggered readers, remember, this is about style, not ability… we’re not saying Isco is worth the same as Laudrup and Iniesta combined.
We wouldn’t dare…
Steven Gerrard + Edgar Davids = Arturo Vidal
No explanation needed.
Let’s move on.
Diego Maradona x Juninho Pernambucano = Lionel Messi
The two legendary Argentine No10s are two parts of the same soul, we know that already.
But in recent years, Messi has become the best free-kick taker in the world.
While his method of taking set-pieces differs to Juninho’s, the fact he’s now similarly feared when standing over a dead ball 25 yards out is good enough for us.
Dimitar Berbatov + Juan Roman Riquelme = Mesut Ozil
How has nobody noticed this before?
FACT: None of these players have ever broken sweat on a football field.
Romario ÷ Michael Owen = Sergio Aguero
Aguero has long been compared to Romario so we won’t take credit for that shrewd nugget of analysis.
Man City’s all-time top scorer has spent plenty of time on the treatment table but no amount of sprains, strains and niggles could dull his predatory instincts.
Just like Owen… sort of.
Carlos Tevez + Claude Makelele = Roberto Firmino
Firmino’s unique style is difficult to unpack.
But what this equation accurately* shows is that the Brazilian is part rabid forward, part press-obsessed hounder.
*may not be accurate
Thierry Henry + Ronaldo = Kylian Mbappe
“Hey Dream Team, that’s ridiculous! Mbappe is nowhere near as good as Henry or Ronaldo yet! And why are you putting that pressure on him, typical media!”
Cristiano Ronaldo ÷ Darren Anderton = Gareth Bale
Direct dribbling, powerful long shots, pace, good in the air… there are many similarities between Bale and peak Ronaldo.
It’s just the Welshman is like a diet version of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
One of the main reasons Bale has failed to match Ronaldo’s stats in recent years is his injury record.
When it comes to one-on-one time with the club doctor, his biography reads like Anderton’s.
Poor old Sicknote.