Gabriel Martinelli must’ve watched a lot of Manchester United matches as a child.
The Arsenal starlet was recently quizzed on which footballer inspired him the most and responded (via ESPN): “The person I looked up to was always Cristiano Ronaldo. I used to watch him a lot when I was growing up, I loved his style.”
Given that he’s only 21, Martinelli would have likely grown up watching Ronaldo during his time at United and later, Real Madrid – the absolute peak era of his illustrious career.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo spent six years with the Red Devils in his early years, winning three Premier League titles, a Champions League, two League Cups, an FA Cup and a Club World Cup before making the switch from Manchester to Madrid, where he further cemented his place as one of the greatest footballers in history.
A United legend
Whilst his return to Old Trafford wasn’t quite as fairytale-esque as we’d originally hoped, he’ll forever be remembered as a club legend in most fans’ eyes.
There’s now a generation of players that have grown up idolising Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, which is a bittersweet reminder that that emphatic era of the two stars dominating the game is coming to an end.