Cristiano Ronaldo (the present) and João Félix (the future). Photo: Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Several young soccer players are vying to become the future face of the sport, "replacing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the world's best players," writes the New York Times Rory Smith.

The lineup: João Félix, 19 (Atlético Madrid; Portugal) — Kylian Mbappé, 20 (Paris St.-Germain; France) — Frenkie de Jong, 22 (Barcelona; Netherlands) — Kai Havertz, 20 (Bayer Leverkusen; Germany) — Vinícius Júnior, 19 (Real Madrid; Brazil).

  • "All of a sudden, it feels as if the future is at hand," writes Smith.
  • "Others have previously worn that tag, of course. Neymar, for a long time, seemed to be the player in waiting. Some might have made a case for Eden Hazard … or possibly even Paul Pogba."
  • "In reality, though, their timing was wrong. Ronaldo has endured as an elite performer for longer than many, perhaps, expected ... Messi is only 32, and if anything he has been getting better over the last couple of years."

The bottom line: Neymar, Hazard and other established superstars will be nearing age 30 by the time Messi vacates his perch, while this new generation will be entering their prime.

Go deeper

Ilhan Omar: The Squad expects liberal turn from Biden after election

Rep. Ilhan Omar told "Axios on HBO" that given the way progressives have shaped Joe Biden's policy platform, she and other members of "The Squad" expect a liberal turn from him if he's elected.

Why it matters: Progressives have largely refrained from publicly criticizing Biden in the lead-up to the election, even though he hasn't signed on to their most far-reaching policies. Instead, they're focusing solely on beating Trump.

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, soon after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.