NONI MADUEKE is attempting to imitate the two Ronnies.
The England Under-21 international is already following in the footsteps of Brazilian legend Ronaldo by making a name for himself in European football with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven.
Noni Madueke wants to go to the top like his idol Cristiano RonaldoCredit: Getty
Madueke’s hero Ronaldo is back at Old TraffordCredit: Getty
And hearing Madueke speak, it is almost like listening to a young Cristiano impersonation in how determined and how confident he is of one day reaching the top.
The Barnet lad, 19, said: “I have the drive to be the best. I am never satisfied if I am not. I am the type to get angry if I am not. That is how I am. It is a competitive edge.
“To be a great player, you have to have it. Ronaldo epitomises it. I grew up a Man United fan and used to watch him.
“What he did was inspiring and to be still doing it now is testament to how hard he works.
“He is the biggest inspiration for someone who is confident but backs it up on the pitch every time he steps out.
“All my idols like Neymar, Ronaldo, (Lionel) Messi and the new generation like (Kylian) Mbappe, they all play with a confident arrogance. That is something I like and try to implement in my game.”
Madueke says he will be tuning into United’s matches and is looking forward to seeing “a Galacticos team” including Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, spearheaded by returning hero Ronaldo.
There was talk Madueke could have joined them earlier this summer, either at Old Trafford or in the Premier League.
The red-hot teenager confirmed there was interest in him but decided to stay at PSV – the club where it all started in Europe for Brazilian Ronaldo.
Madueke’s “impatience” to get his career going at senior level saw him join the Dutch giants from Spurs two years ago.
All my idols – Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi and Mbappe play with a confident arrogance. That’s something I try to implement in my game
He is now a first-team starter and after signing a new four-year deal, he has his sights fixed on becoming the Eredivisie’s best player before considering his next move.
Madueke added: “I have high expectations of myself.
“I feel I can be one of the best players in the league and that’s what I want to do.
“When you are doing well there is always interest. My focus is playing well for my club. It is best to stay this summer. It is the right decision.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and every young English player wants to be there.
“But also I am not someone who is afraid to venture elsewhere so whatever is best for my development, whichever country, I am a person who won’t be scared to take the leap.”
Madueke in action on his England Under-21 debut against PortugalCredit: Getty
Madueke also wants to become the main man for Lee Carsley’s new-look Under-21s side, who face Romania in a friendly in Bucharest on Friday and a Euro qualifier at MK Dons against Kosovo on Tuesday.
The wideman, who is also eligible for Nigeria and has not shut the door on one day switching allegiances, has only one cap to date.
That came against Portugal in the disappointing Euros campaign in March, which saw England go out at the group stages and the end of Carsley’s predecessor Aidy Boothroyd.
But Madueke feels that experience can be of use to Carsley’s new crop, which includes long-time mates Cole Palmer, Tino Livramento and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
The Borussia Dortmund target added: “We can’t take any team lightly. We gave ourselves an uphill battle (by not winning their first Euros group game).
“We have to go in and be less naive and get ready to destroy from the start.
Madueke is emulating the Brazilian Ronaldo at PSVCredit: PA:Empics Sport
“(The new squad) is an under-the-radar group. When it was announced, a lot of people might not have known everybody in the squad.
“But the first thing I thought when I saw it was, ‘This has bundles of talent’.
“I want to make sure I am as important to this team as my team back home at club level.”
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