Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has opened up on the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo – who he first met as a kid in the club’s youth academy.
Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson originally signed the Portuguese star to Old Trafford in 2003, after an impressive display in Sporting Lisbon’s pre-season friendly against the Red Devils.
An 18-year-old Ronaldo even taught a 10-year-old Lingard some skills, including his trademark step-overs.
Eighteen years later, nobody would have imagined that the duo would end up as teammates this season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner rejoined the club towards the end of the transfer window and has already lifted spirits amongst the fan base.
Not only has he made an impression on the supporters, Lingard recently spoke highly of how Ronaldo’s presence has elevated the team to achieve more as a squad.
“He’s been brilliant — he’s brought so much to the team,” said the England midfielder ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Andorra.
“He’s brought that leadership factor. He wants to win in training, he wants to win in games — he wants to win trophies.
“He’s great to be around, to watch what he does and you can really learn little things off of him.
“He’s one of the best players in the world – to have him back home is perfect for us at the moment. We know that he’ll score goals and win us games.”
Both players complement each other on the pitch, contributing goals and assists in a relationship that appears to be blossoming.
Lingard added: “He’s really humble. He gives off a good energy and you pick that up, he’s a positive person.
“To learn things off of him both on and off the pitch is really good.”
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