Bukayo Saka has revealed Cristiano Ronaldo is his inspiration after the youngster’s match-winning display for Arsenal in an Europa League match against Eintracht Frankfurt Thursday night.
The Gunners teenager was the star of the show as Unai Emery’s side began their European campaign with an impressive 3-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Saka scored his first senior goal in the victory and also set up the other two for Joe Willock and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt.
It was an impressive night for the 18-year-old who turned down both Tottenham and Chelsea to join Arsenal when he was just nine.
And speaking after the game in Germany, the talented young winger admitted he has grown up idolising one man.
“Cristiano Ronaldo,” Saka told reporters after the match. “I love his mentality. He always wants to be the best, is always working hard on and off the pitch and trying to make his body the best.
“When he gets on the pitch he performs with full confidence and full personality and shows why he’s one of the best players to ever play football.”
Saka added: “I wouldn’t say I have his attitude as we are two different players, he is unique, but I try to look at him and take the good things from his game and one of the good things from his game is his mentality.
“He’s always focused, always working and I try to do that as well.”
Thursday night’s game was Saka’s first senior start of the season for Arsenal and his goal made him the youngest player to score for the Gunners in a UEFA competition since a 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey netted against Fenerbahce in 2008.
Along with Willock and Emile Smith Rowe, he was one of three academy products to start for the Gunners and another, Reiss Nelson, was on the bench.
“It’s good to have your mates around you,” Saka admitted.
“They push you on. When you’re down they pick you up, when they’re down I pick them up. It’s good to have them all around us.
“There will be a lot of opportunities in the Europa League. That’s how I made my debut last season and I hope I can continue to get more and more opportunities and keep progressing so I can play in the Premier League and start playing for Arsenal’s first team.
“I take a lot of confidence from this game. It was my first goal and I also managed to get two assists so I’m very happy with my performance.”