‘My idol’ – Bukayo Saka pays tribute to ‘special’ Cristiano Ronaldo as Arsenal star admits he ‘can’t imagine’ enjoying the same career longevity

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has paid tribute to “special” Al-Nassr superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who was his “idol” as a youngster.

The Gunners’ homegrown star made a surprising revelation that he idolised Manchester United and Real Madrid legend Ronaldo as a kid. He also praised the 39-year-old attacker for the longevity of his career and admitted that he can’t see himself playing professionally for so long.

WHAT BUKAYO SAKA SAID


 

Speaking on the Men in Blazers podcast, the Arsenal winger said: “Personally I can’t (imagine playing for as long as Ronaldo), and that’s why I have so much respect for him. Obviously, when I was younger, he was my idol, but now that I’m playing football professionally, I have even more respect for him, how he’s managed to stay this disciplined and this focused and achieve everything he’s achieved, so yeah he’s special.”


The Portuguese legend joined United in 2003 and left the club six years later to join Real Madrid, when Saka was just eight years old. Ronaldo went on to play for Juventus before making a brief comeback to Old Trafford in 2021. In January 2023, the 39-year-old left Europe to sign for Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr.

Both Ronaldo and Saka are in great form in the current season. While the veteran forward has scored 28 times in 30 matches across all competitions for Al-Nassr, Saka has netted 16 goals and provided 15 assists for Mikel Arteta’s title chasing Arsenal side.

Ronaldo will be back in action when Al-Nassr play against Al-Raed in the Saudi Pro League on Thursday, while England international Saka is set to feature again for Arsenal against Brentford on Saturday in the Premier League.


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