Cristiano Ronaldo names three young European players to look out for

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There are countless young footballers around the world who are trying to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo.

They wear his boots. Copy his trademark celebration. They pause for effect before taking a free-kick.

As role models go, the Real Madrid star certainly isn’t the worst choice.

His theatrics on the football pitch often rub people the wrong way but there’s no doubting his talent. Three Ballon d’Ors is a testament to his enormous ability.

But Ronaldo is confident that there will never be another one like him.

In an interview with Spanish outlet Marca, the Portugal international stressed that, despite the number of imitators, nobody can follow his exact route to stardom.

The 31-year-old also named three young Portugal players who have the potential to become great.

"No one can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, there are no doubles,” he said. “The next will be what he has to be, but never the same. That doesn't happen."

"I see in Europe many young talents, I can mention several: Renato Sanches, Andre Gomes, or Joao Mario.

“There are many to choose from and I've only mentioned the Portuguese, but there are many in Europe who have the capacity to go far. I am very happy because these great talents assure that football will always be strong."

Exciting times for Portugal

Portugal have a young crop of players who can build on their success at the summer’s European Championship, with Sanches, Gomes and Mario quickly establishing themselves as players to watch out for.

Bayern Munich could end up paying £63 million for Sanches, who joined an esteemed list, including Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, by winning the Golden Boy award in October.

Gomes, meanwhile, snubbed the chance to play with Ronaldo at the Bernabeu by choosing to join Barcelona in the summer transfer window.

Ballon d'Or aspirations

Ronaldo has enjoyed one of his most successful years in football, winning the Champions League and Euro 2016, and he hopes to cap it off my claiming a fourth Ballon d’Or.

“I did everything last season; the Champions League, Euro 2016. The votes don't depend on me so I cannot be obsessed about whether I'm going to win or whether I deserve to win.

“If you ask me if I want to win, of course I do. I will not lie, but it's not up to me.

"I don't obsess over it. Things come naturally, the captains and coaches vote and we'll see what happens, but I'm calm because what I did last season was incredible and I'm very comfortable with my performances. It was my best year, so I'm happy."

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Gareth Bale
Ricardo Quaresma
Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal National Football Team
Manchester United
Luis Nani

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