When you think of the next generation of Liverpool stars, names like Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Neco Williams roll off the tongue.
What about the generation after that though?
Well, the leader of that cohort could be seven-year-old, Iran-born Arat Hosseini, who gone viral (yet again) for his miraculous football skills.
Despite barely being old enough to tie his own shoelaces, ‘Mini Messi’ already moves his feet like a seasoned professional, leaving piles of crestfallen children – and occasionally adults – in his wake whenever he takes to the field.
Here’s everything you need to know about the internet sensation who is currently training at Liverpool. Get ready to feel old.
Hosseini father’s, Mohammed, has been posting videos of his son’s incredible feats since 2015.
Starting off by showcasing his remarkable athleticism, the pair soon began to add football into the mix and before long, their following exploded.
Not even the United Kingdom locking down in spring could stop Hosseini causing jaws to hit the floor. With outside training prohibited, his father set up a practice area inside their rented apartment, so he could continue to hone his skills and delight his fans.
Hosseini now boasts close to five million followers on Instagram – more than Liverpool captain and Champions League winner Jordan Henderson.
It is not just the size of his following that is so impressive but also the fact that it includes several famous faces.
World tennis number one Novak Djokovic reached out to compliment Hosseini, saying: “I have been watching your videos with my son Steffan who is one year younger than you and you have been an inspiration.”
Djokovic is not the only sporting superstar to express an interest either. Lionel Messi, yes the Lionel Messi, also praised Hosseini back in April after he posted a video of a sumptuous bicycle kick.
As per the Liverpool Echo, Messi commented that he had ‘a lot of class’, and described him as ‘awesome’. Will Smith and DJ Khaled are also admirers. Major key.
Praise from Messi will have meant a lot to Hosseini and he has previously revealed La Pulga to be his idol. He plans to follow in his hero’s footsteps in the future as well.
When asked whether he might play at Anfield one day, he replied: “No, not here. I want to play in Barcelona. The only problem here (in Liverpool) is the weather!”
Despite his love for the Argentine legend, he clearly is not choosing sides in the Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo debate, with both players featured in the mural painted on the wall of his training room.
Hosseini has lived the majority of his life in the public eye and is no stranger to the limelight.
Starting off in talent shows in his native Iran, he has since made television appearances in Australia, China and several other countries.
With his star only growing brighter, you should expect to see a lot more of Hosseini hitting your screens in the future.
Back in the day, there was always one kid who claimed they could do thousands of keepy uppies – but when the time came to prove their mettle, they shot off home for dinner like a whippet.
Hosseini is not one of those fakers. He actually has the skills to back it up.
During the same interview with ITV News, he claimed his record was 4,000 in just 35 minutes.
While nothing in football is guaranteed, his father has big plans for Hosseini’s future.
Speaking to FIFA back in June, he said: “I’m sure he’ll become a great player. He’s very talented and self-motivated. It’s a long journey and we’ll maintain our focus to achieve our goal. He’ll be the youngest player to appear at the World Cup.
“We’re thinking about the future and the steps we can take. Nothing will stop us. Arat loves school and football. He’s currently training with the Liverpool FC Academy and wants to be the best player in the world. So I’m doing all I can to help him,” he added.
Feel old and pathetic yet?