Leixoes SC and Nigeria U20 starlet Evans Aneni has named Sergio Ramos as his idol, while hoping to emulate the Spanish football icon.
The 19-year-old has been tipped to become one of the world’s sought-after centre-backs in future owing to his defensive skills.
Aneni, having risen through the ranks at his Portuguese outfit and has been a key figure in the Sea Heroes’ U23 squad.
Before football was put on a hiatus owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigeria youth international featured in every game for Leixoes – putting up several man-of-the-match showings.
In a chat with Goal, the teenager says he has always looked up to the Real Madrid captain as a source of inspiration.
“Since I began playing football, I have always looked to just one person for inspiration and he is Sergio Ramos,” Aneni told Goal.
“He is one of my favourite players in my position and his never-say-die attitude and charisma on the field of play are what thrill me as I continue to develop as a footballer.
“In addition, you have to be very intelligent as a striker for you to beat him. At my leisure time, I watch his video and learn one or two things from him.
“Although, I have other defenders who I learn from but Ramos is my idol and one day I hope to be like him.”
He was part of Paul Aigbogun’s Nigeria U20 team for the 2019 U20 Fifa World Cup, but, he failed to make the cut owing to a late fitness issue.
With several top European teams gunning for his signature, he claims he is not in a rush for a move while stating it would be a dream playing for Premier League outfit Chelsea in future.
“I am still developing here and I am not in a rush to move. When the time is ripe, I definitely settle for less,” he continued.
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“I have been supporting Chelsea as a kid and someday, I hope to play for them because they are one of my favourites.
“Well, I can’t wait for that to happen because playing for them will be a dream come true for me.”
Aneni is expected to form the fulcrum of the new Nigeria U20 squad hoping to qualify for the 2021 U20 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Mauritania, which serves as qualifiers for the U20 World Cup in Indonesia.