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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

Nigerian rising star Peter Olawale has revealed that Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima is his football role model.

The Brazilian legend, also known as ‘O Fenomeno’ (The Phenomenon), was the sport’s leading striker through the late 1990s and early 2000s, most notably leading his national team to World Cup glory in 2002.

Olawale, meanwhile, is a 17-year-old who caught the eye with his powerful performances at the 2019 U-17 World Cup and is on the verge of joining French Ligue 1 club Lille.

" My role model is Ronaldo Nazario. I love the way he plays, he is fast, skilful and he’s got power-packed shots too and these are the characteristics I possess,” Olawale revealed to Goal. I watch his video always and I keep working hard to do better than him.

" My coaches in my academy and national team feel I share some traits with Thierry Henry, but deep down my heart, it is Brazil’s Ronaldo that I cherish and try to emulate.”

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The Nigerian has been referred to as ‘Little Ronaldo’ but says this moniker does not put additional pressure on him.

" Not at all! As much as I feel honoured getting compared with this football icon, I try to be myself always,” he continued.

" I would love to make my own mark and hopefully someday, those coming behind would see me as their role model.”

Tripple 44 Academy product attracted interest from a host of European clubs having impressed for Nigeria at the 2019 U17 Fifa World Cup in Brazil, but received offers from Sevilla, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas for 'Little Ronaldo' Peter Olawale.

The 17-year-old, who got a goal against Australia was one of Manu Garba’s standout performers as the Golden Eaglets crashed out in the Round of 16 to the Netherlands.


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