One of Liverpool’s most important players this season revealed he grew up with Cristiano Ronaldo as his childhood hero.
There are many young Portuguese kids who have beautiful memories about Cristiano Ronaldo as this Liverpool star does. It’s obvious we are talking about Diogo Jota, whose first experience watching Portugal was during the 2004 Euros. That was the summer in which Cristiano Ronaldo made his debut with the national team and became a superstar.
At the time, the Juventus star was still a teenager and millions of Portuguese children started idolizing him. Diogo Jota was one of those kids as he recalls in an interview. The Liverpool star spoke about how incredible his journey has been from those times wishing he was Cristiano Ronaldo.
Cut to the moment he shared the dressing room with him for the Portugal National Team. Today, Jota is widely considered one of the candidates who can eventually replace Cristiano as the top player for his national team. What a wild ride it’s been for Diogo, who is now enjoying life at Liverpool.
Jota praises both Klopp and Ronaldo.
During an interview with The Athletic, Diogo Jota first spoke about his experience with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool: “When you reach a new club, having an open mind is key to be able to adapt as quickly as possible. With the season underway already, it was up to me to find a way to get into the team and not the opposite.
“That’s what I did with the help of Jurgen. He’s a fantastic manager who took care of me. When I first arrived, he had a meeting with me and he explained how the team works. Then it’s down to the player to try to learn as fast as you can and to prove to the manager that you can be an important player for him on the field.”
Then he revealed his reverence towards Ronaldo: “My earliest memories are from the 2004 Euros when Portugal reached the final and unfortunately we lost. I was seven and I remember it well. Football has always been my passion. Cristiano Ronaldo was my hero. At that time, he was 19 but he was already playing at the Euros with so much quality. During my childhood, he was at Manchester United and Real Madrid. As Portuguese guys, we always looked upon him as our main reference.”