When you consider the scintillating effect that the 23-year old Rory McIlroy has had on the world of professional golf, it can be difficult to give a legitimate comparison in football terms to complement the Northern Irishman's accolades and efforts.
After all, has any footballer won two of football's major trophies for his team all off his own back?
However, think of this in a different tact. How about a footballer who burst onto the scene a couple of years back, completely invigorated his team and gave them some real, genuine hope for years to come, but has since been blocked in his ascent to becoming one of the sport's most exciting and dominating talents?
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere can be that young man.
Consider some of the similarities. Both McIlroy and Wilshere had been growing in stature, reputation and levels of quality in their respective sports for a good few years before their breakthroughs around 2010 and 2011. And when they did burst into the realm of mainstream public recognition, they did it with flair and a real flourish.
For Wilshere, his 2010-11 season witnessed his swift and unmistakable rise to a regular place in Arsenal's first team, courtesy of his physically strong and technically adroit performances, culminating in his being named the PFA's Young Player of the Year for that season. An accolade that saw him join company such as Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo—names who few could dispute as being giants of modern football.
On the other hand, McIlroy had slowly been growing in repute ever since his professional debut in 2007, but was first truly thrust into the public eye at Augusta in 2011—the site of his disastrous and now infamous collapse in the Masters event which would later be won by Charl Schwartzel.
However, to recover from losing perhaps golf's most prestigious event which many considered to be already won from his excellent and consistent first three rounds. To return from such a catastrophe to win his first major in a peerless four rounds as Congressional, with the poise and self-confidence that McIlroy boasted to take control of that field is something which Jack Wilshere could use as some real inspiration following his near 14 month layoff from various injury complications.
Not only that, but to continue his meteoric rise to become golf's No. 1 player, solidified with his recent PGA Championship win at Kiawah Island, shows his inner grit and determination more than his flair for the spectacular in recent months.
McIlroy himself was under fire from critics following the lack of major success since that famous win at Congressional and it can be assured that each one of Wilshere's steps on his path to recovery and, what Arsenal fans hope will be a continuation of his excellent 2010-11 form, will be viewed under a truly microscopic lens.
As with McIlroy, every one of Wilshere's moves will be analysed and discussed by many different media personalities and journalists, each one trying to gain an insight into how Arsenal's most illustrious young talent can recover from his struggles with injury.
Yet McIlroy has shown Wilshere through many different channels just how possible it is to defy those who would criticise the midfielder. None so prominent as McIlroy's own personal resolve to triumph at the highest level yet again.
The two may be at different stages of their careers. But if Jack Wilshere follows the example Rory McIlroy has set and the path he continues to tread, the two can both be remembered and respected as true giants of their sports.
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