Moise Kean Praises Cristiano Ronaldo Influence After Record-Breaking Italy Goal

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 24, 2019

UDINE, ITALY - MARCH 23:  Moise Kean of Italy  celebrates after scoring his team second goal during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group J qualifying match between Italy and Finland at Stadio Friuli on March 23, 2019 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

Teenage superstar Moise Kean has praised the influence of Juventus team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and said he's ready to break "a lot of records" after becoming Italy's youngest goalscorer in more than 50 years.

The 19-year-old striker scored the Azzurri's second goal as they defeated Finland 2-0 on Saturday in a UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier. Speaking to reporters after the result, Kean acknowledged Ronaldo's presence at the Allianz Stadium as only an advantage in his development.

He said: "I can only learn from him. It happens every day. I'm just trying to stay ready by training to my fullest. There are a lot of records to break, and I'm ready to break them."

The Finnish defence dropped too far off the Juve forward in their 74th minute of their meeting at the Dacia Arena in Udine, and Kean punished Italy's guests in just his second international appearance, via Sky Sports:

Sky Sports Football @SkyFootball

Moise Kean scores his first international goal with a composed finish after showing his pace! Superb stuff from the young man 🔥 https://t.co/qQrbLiALWn

Ronaldo moved to Turin from Real Madrid last summer in a £100 million deal, and Kean would have been forgiven for seeing the Portugal star's arrival as a potential obstacle to his own progress.

OptaPaolo highlighted the forward's achievement in becoming the youngest player to score for his country since 1958:

OptaPaolo @OptaPaolo

19 & 23 - Moise #Kean (19 years and 23 days) is the second youngest scorer for Italy after Bruno Nicolè in 1958. Wonderkid. #ItalyFinland #EURO2020 https://t.co/UMqxgRRK3c

Kean has begun to receive more minutes from Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and has featured in each of the club's last three successive games.  

The teenager has earned an increasing amount of attention since joining Juventus in 2016. He spent the 2017-18 campaign on loan at Hellas Verona but is now making his mark among Juve's senior ranks.

Saturday's start also made him the youngest striker to start for his country since Edoardo Mariani in 1912, who was 19 years and 12 days old at the time.

It was earlier in March that Kean capped his first Serie A start for Juventus by netting two in a 4-1 thrashing of Udinese:

Italy manager Roberto Mancini joined in signing the praises of his new attacker, who has had almost one full season training alongside Ronaldo:

"His prospects are huge, but let's not forget that we're talking about a 19-year-old kid. We expect great things from him but we also need to accept the mistakes. He's destined for greatness. He's got a lot of skill and is always improving. But having talent isn't enough. You've also got to play calmly, with joy."

It seems Ronaldo's influence has been anything but an obstacle for Kean, who looks ready to break new ground for club and country after scoring his maiden goal for the Azzurri.