Manchester United starlet Andreas Pereira has revealed that he once spoke to Cristiano Ronaldo and received some useful words of advice from the Real Madrid superstar.
Ronaldo told the Brazil Under-20 international to “grow” in Manchester and to train relentlessly - just like he did.
However, United fans will be hoping that, unlike Ronaldo, Pereira stays with the Red Devils once he fulfils his potential and enjoys the peak years of his career at Old Trafford.
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“I’m a Cristiano Ronaldo fan and once I got to talk to him. He told me to grow in Manchester, to train very hard, to be relentless," the 19-year-old was quoted as saying by the Express. "That was the advice he gave to me. Training every day, sometimes even on off days."
Pereira has made three appearances in all competitions for United so far this season and scored his maiden goal - a superb free-kick - on his first competitive start for the first team against Ipswich Town in September.
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Pereira desperate to make it at United
But the Belgium-born attacking midfielder knows he has his work cut out to establish himself as a first-team regular under Louis van Gaal - and is prepared, if required, to follow the same path as Adnan Januzaj.
“My goal is to stay here, to try and win my place at United," he added. "But if I happen to have the option to go out on loan and do what Januzaj is doing and gain experience in another team, no problem, I will.
"I’m working hard, giving my best. I’m waiting for the right moment. I have to be patient.
“United are a massive club and to be part of it is an honour. The Premier League is very competitive, the English are very passionate about football.
"It’s a challenge to be here, and today I am more adapted to the style. My background is in Dutch football.
"Between ourselves [Van Gaal] we speak Dutch. I think it helps. But I’m a fighter and maybe he likes that profile.”
Pereira faces more competition next season
United don’t have a huge amount of strength in depth in attacking positions right now and Pereira is best off biding his time at Old Trafford until next summer.
However, competition for first-team places is set to intensify next season, with Van Gaal admitting he wants more “speed and creativity” - per the Manchester Evening News - on the wings.
Furthermore, by next summer Januzaj will have returned from his season-long loan spell with Borussia Dortmund.
Pereira knows how highly Van Gaal and his coaching staff think of him - United officials wouldn’t have handed the teenager a new three-year contract in May if they felt he wasn’t good enough - but it might be a few more years before he becomes a key player.
However, if he follows Ronaldo’s advice, he’ll give himself the best possible chance of making it at Old Trafford.
Manchester United fans: will Andreas Pereira, Adnan Januzaj or Jesse Lingard be more successful at Old Trafford? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!