Benitez compares Babayaro’s son to Messi
Rafa Benitez has invited Ryan Hyacinth, son of former Super Eagles left back Celestine Babayaro to train with Newcastle United’s youth team and says he hopes the boy becomes the new Messi.
This was after the 10-year-old emerged the most valuable player in a small-sided football competition organised by Newcastle United’s 1892 Foundation for schools at the Tyneside.
Ryan helped his school, Cambois Primary School, Northumberland, win the 1892 Foundation Cup, and also impressed so much that manager Rafa Benitez picked him to start training with the Magpies’ youth team.
“The idea is to keep the connection between the club and the community, it would be fantastic if the club did produce a player on the back of one of the Foundation’s courses. It’s not the main idea but at the same time you come across one talent nobody knew about. And then, maybe, he will be the new Messi,” Benitez said.
Ryan Hyacinth’s father, Celestine Babayaro played close to 50 matches for Newcastle United having joined them from Chelsea in 2005. Ryan now has a chance to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Babayaro also appeared 132 times for current EPL champions, Chelsea between 1997 and 2005 where he won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FA Cup titles. Babayaro, who holds the record of the youngest player to appear in the UEFA Champions League, also remains a legend in Nigeria, having helped the Super Eagles win Africa’s first Olympic football gold medal at Atlanta ‘96, scoring vital goals against Brazil in the semifinal and against Argentina in the final.
Newcastle would be hoping Ryan Hyacinth could become one of Andy Carroll, Sammy Ameobi, Kazenga Lualua, Paul Dummett or Fraser Forster, who broke into the main team from the youth academy in recent years.