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'I always dream of playing with Ronaldo' - NXGN star Marcos Leonardo hopes to emulate Man Utd star

16:41 BST 09/05/2022
Marcos Leonardo comemora, Corinthians x Santos, Paulista, 03022022
The 19-year-old striker counts Romario, Luis Suarez and Brazil legend Ronaldo among his favourite players of all time

Santos youngster Marcos Leonardo says he hopes to play like Cristiano Ronaldo, hailing the Manchester United star as his "idol" since he was a child.

The 19-year-old has emerged as a star player for the Brazilian side, impressing enough to be named on the NXGN 2022 list of the 50 best teenage footballers in the world.

The striker counts a host of fellow Brazilians as role models, but it is Portuguese star Ronaldo he hopes to emulate most.

What has Marcos Leonardo said about Ronaldo?

Discussing his favourite players in an interview with GOAL, the attacker said: "There are several that I am inspired by, Ricardo Oliveira, I've liked him since I was little. Romario, Adriano, Luis Suarez, Ronaldo Fenomeno and Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been my idol since I was little.

"Some I haven't even seen. It was my father who used to pick on me since I was little and he was like: 'Go watch the video, boy. Go watch the videos'. He demanded I watch the videos of Romario, Ronaldo, Adriano, he always demanded, because there were often moves that would help me solve problems on the field.

"In a game against Corinthians, I scored a goal with a pout and joked with my father: 'Romario's goal'."

Asked which player he wants to play like, he said: "Cristiano Ronaldo, who has always been my idol, and I always dream of playing with him. The first is him.

"The King [Pele], there's no way, I don't even have words. If I played with him, I would learn a lot. And [Lionel] Messi.

"There are several, but as you only gave me three options, there are several that I dream of playing, there is Ricardo Oliveira, Neymar, there are several."

Marcos Leonardo wants World Cup with Brazil

The teenager made his breakthrough at Santos in 2020 and has since made 83 appearances in all competitions for the senior side, scoring 20 goals along the way.

He has his heart set on becoming a club legend and winning titles with the club, while he is also dreaming of playing at a World Cup with the national team.

"First, I want to become an idol at Santos, who invested in me and believed in my potential since I was little," he said.

"I want to score goals and give titles to this crowd, because they deserve it.

"I want to reach the senior Brazil team, it has always been my focus since I was little, I want to be the number 9 of the main Brazilian team, play in a World Cup."

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