Louis Saha hopes the comparisons between Anthony Martial and Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t stop at both arriving at Manchester United as teenagers with a weight of expectation.
Martial has been compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, but Saha, who played five seasons at Old Trafford, admitted he sees a hint of Ronaldo in the youngster’s game.
And United fans will certainly be chuffed if Martial goes on to produce anything close to what the Portuguese managed in his six seasons at the club.
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Ronaldo fired the Red Devils to three Premier League titles and Champions League glory, while his efforts in the 2007-08 season - he scored 42 goals as United won the double - saw him win the Ballon d’Or.
Few would bet on Martial achieving such heights but his first season in England has been promising. The Frenchman, a £36 million signing from Monaco in the summer, has scored 10 goals in all competitions.
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Saha highlighted his potential in an interview with International Business Times. The former Manchester United and Everton striker was quoted by FourFourTwo as saying: “I hope Martial can emulate what Ronaldo did at United.
“Ronaldo came when he was 18 and had this little issue where he was not passing the ball. He had to learn and that took him time.
"When he clicked in his head, with the help of the manager, he became an amazing player and I hope that Martial will go in the same path. Martial has got the ability, strength, he is skilful and he is hungry to learn."
Multiple Ballon d'Or wins
Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for United before signing for Real Madrid in 2009 and taking his skills to a new level.
The 31-year-old has added two more Ballon d’Or trophies and is now Los Blancos’ all-time leading scorer.
Saha admitted he is full of admiration for the winger, who became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Madrid for £80m.
"The difference when you compare any player to Ronaldo is that he was obsessed about his game," the Frenchman added.
"You know he doesn't sleep without thinking about football and that quality is really hard to see in other players right now."
Ronaldo scores for fun
That passion has actually become a deterrent at times this season. The Portugal international apologised to his Madrid teammates after he criticised them following the 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid last month, claiming: “If they were all as good as me, we’d be top.”
But there are certainly parts of Ronaldo’s game that Martial should look to copy. Especially the goalscoring achievements.
For Sporting Lisbon, United, Madrid and Portugal, Ronaldo has found the net 530 times. That number could reach close to 700 when all is said and done.
Martial had better get a move on.
Will Anthony Martial win a Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comments section below!
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