Jadon Sancho is not exactly short of admirers, but the England international has got a new one in former Borussia Dortmund forward Lucas Barrios.
Sancho has been the talk of Europe since breaking onto the professional scene with Dortmund after joining the club from the Manchester City academy in summer 2017, aged 17. He won his first full international caps for England and topped the Bundesliga assists charts in 2018/19, and has picked up where he left off with nine goals and as many assists halfway into the current campaign.
Barrios won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the DFB Cup during a 49-goal spree spanning 102 competitive appearances for Dortmund between 2009 and 2012. The Paraguyan says he cannot get enough of trailblazing teenager Sancho.
"Jadon Sancho's my favourite Dortmund player," Barrios told BVB TV. "I've always said what a good player he is. He's quick, creates goals, scores goals. It's not easy to be that fast and score goals... that's important.
"I hope he continues in the same vein, and I hope he can help Dortmund win the Champions League again."
Watch: All of Sancho’s assists in 2019/20 so far
Dortmund have achieved that feat once - beating Juventus 3-1 in the 1996/97 final - before losing the 2012/13 edition to Bayern Munich, a year after Barrios left the club for China's Guangzhou Evergrande.
The 35-year-old has since played for Spartak Moscow, Montpellier, Palmerias, Gremio, Argentinos Jrs, Colo Colo and current employers Huracan, but he says his three-season spell at Dortmund under Jürgen Klopp remains the gold standard.
"My time at BVB was the best of my career," Barrios said, after taking part in a Legends Match against Bayern at the Estadio de Morumbi in Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 2019. "I played with Mario Götze and Shinji Kagawa, and we had a fantastic team.
"I'm still in touch with Shinji and Roman Weidenfeller. I had a lot of friends in Dortmund and I'm a big fan. I always watch their games online. I'm happy to see them doing so well."
Watch: Lucas Barrios scored twice against Bayern in the Legends Cup
Needless to say Barrios will be glued to the screen just like the rest of us when BVB resume their Bundesliga campaign with a trip to Augsburg on 18 January.
Dortmund are currently fourth in the table, seven points behind leaders RB Leipzig. Lucien Favre's side are also through to the DFB Cup round of 16, where they will face Bundesliga rivals Werder Bremen on 4 February, before taking on former coach Thomas Tuchel's Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in the Champions League knockouts (18 February/ 11 March).
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