Lyon star Memphis Depay opened up on how Cristiano Ronaldo inspired him as a youngster and what makes him such a formidable player.
Cristiano Ronaldo has inspired countless athletes through his hard work and determination to succeed. His achievements in football are no coincidence, after all. They’re so great, in fact, that even proven stars like Depay still look up to him to this day.
The 26-year-old grew up idolising Ronaldo and even took the Portuguese’s old No.7 jersey when he joined Manchester United in 2015. He lasted just 18 months at Old Trafford, though.
Depay, who was once hailed as the ‘Dutch Ronaldo’, couldn’t live up to expectations upon completing a €34m transfer from PSV Eindhoven. Therefore, United shipped him off to Lyon in January 2017.
And while the Dutch winger is still trying to recapture his old reputation, his performances over the last three years have thrilled fans in France.
He even scored the decisive penalty as Lyon eliminated his idol Ronaldo’s Juventus from the Champions League last-16 on away goals.
“Cristiano has always been my hero. He stands for world-class,” Depay told the Mirror.
“As a player, nobody has invested more in himself than Cristiano, which is why he is able to keep playing at an extremely high level.”
“Even in commercial ways, he is the top example to every footballer. Even at PSV Eindhoven, I was doing 200 sit-ups a day and all kinds of cardio stuff.”
“I always had it in my mind that a strong body would help me as a player and would help me to get good commercial deals at the same time.”
“Cristiano was aware of that well before anyone else in football.”
Depay is currently preparing for Lyon’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester City on Saturday.