From my point of view, I think that, this is how the football comparism should be using the Ranks in Academia:
1. Pele is Emeritus Professor of Football. No challenger yet after winning 3 World Cups.
2. Maradona, Ronaldo(Brazil), Ronaldinho, Zidane & others are Emeritus Associate Professors of Football.
3. Messi is a Full Professor now after winning the World Cup in addition to his 18 years of consistency in football since 2004.
4. C. Ronaldo is an Associate Professor based on his considerable achievements and experience in football history plus his several football titles.
5. Kaka, Rivaldo, Thierry Henry, George Weah & others are Assistant Professors of Football.
6. Iniesta, Neymar & others are PhD holders of football.
7. Mbappe, Haaland, Richarlison, Vinicius and others are currently MPhil Holders of football.
A Rising Star is NOT on the same level of a Well Established Star in any field of endeavors.
You can’t use one day to become an Established Star. It take years of consistent proven track record of success, setting new records and breaking existing records.