Sep 16, 2019

The young soccer players competing to be the heirs to Ronaldo and Messi

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.

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Exclusive: 1 on 1 with the king of financial country music

Photo courtesy of Merle Hazard

Merle Hazard, the biggest name in country music about financial markets, debuted in New York on Thursday night, performing for a packed house at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space.

The big picture: The legendary crooner behind hits like "How Long (Will Interest Rates Stay Low)," "Dual Mandate" and "Inflation or Deflation" is unquestionably the economics world's biggest country music superstar. But Hazard, aka Jon Shayne, still has his day job.

Go deeperArrowSep 20, 2019

Hockey's "middle class" hit hardest by NHL salary caps

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings on Sept. 18, in Chicago, Ill. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

NHL veterans and experienced players — known as the "glue guys" or hockey's "middle class" — are being devalued by salary caps and struggling to secure guaranteed contracts, the AP reports.

The big picture: The salary cap was initially added in 2005. NHL's salary cap range for the 2019-2020 season has a $81.5 million ceiling, per NBCSports — a $2 million increase from the 2018-19 season.

Go deeperArrowSep 21, 2019

Selling the NHL's stars despite hockey's team-first attitude

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Hockey players are taught from an early age that the name on the front means more than the name on the back, and that mindset remains firmly entrenched at the sport's highest level.

Why it matters: Selling individuals while not straying too far from hockey's team-first culture is easier said than done, but the NHL must rise to the challenge if it wants to attract the next generation of fans.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019