Since we were kids, we've looked around for inspiring figures, people that we can imitate and learn from. And very often we tend to find them on a pitch or a court. The world of sports — and soccer in particular, due to its huge reach — is full of inspirational people for the fans.
But have you ever wondered who the biggest players admire? No matter how perfect we see them or how many qualities we project on them, they are as human as you and me, and they also grew watching other inspirational figures that pushed, motivated and taught them.
Let’s start with arguably the best player on the world right now, Lionel Messi. La Pulga is under the lens of millions of people right now. Just in Barcelona you can see thousands of kids every day wearing his shirt, pretending to be him, playing in the Camp Nou.
Messi has always been a Wayne Rooney’s fan. That’s right, Rosario Central’s super star has a very deep admiration for the English bad boy. Leo has told the press that Wayne is a once in a generation player, the best he has ever faced. The England’s captain skills were an inspiration for Messi’s game style.
What about Rooney, you may ask. Well, the 30-year old has a clear admiration for Romario. The Brazilian was an outstanding finisher during the 90’s and has a self-proclaimed scoring total of over a thousand goals during his career.
Next in line comes Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese is a very particular guy, and though he has joked that the player he admires the most is actually himself, there is space for a second place in his heart; the owner is none other than Portugal’s last greatest star and former Real Madrid player Luis Figo.
Here’s another question: Do you know what Chicharito, Ronaldinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have in common? Ronaldo. For all three the Brazilian striker is the best player that has ever been on the field. Il Fenomeno is also praised by many other players.
Speaking of Chicharito, he may not be aware of this, but he has been a huge inspiration for USWNT superstar, Alex Morgan. Morgan has declared that she loves the way the Mexican striker plays in attack. She said, "I really enjoy watching Chicharito play. He is one of my favorite players." She has also said, "Chicharito is very fast and agile. He is always in the right place at the right time."
There you have it, the greatest players in the world also admire other players. Some of them have the chance to witness them play nowadays and even share the field with them, but we all have someone to look up to. Do you know about more players or feel there is an important figure missing in this small list, join the conversation in the comments below or in my Twitter @keryruiz.