Manchester United's Mason Greenwood Says Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo His Role Models

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Mason Greenwood of Manchester United during the UEFA Europa League group L match between Manchester United and Partizan at Old Trafford on November 7, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has revealed his role models in the game are Red Devils legend Wayne Rooney and former Brazil striker Ronaldo. 

The 18-year-old has broken into United's senior side since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took charge as manager last season.

Greenwood told reporters he's looking to emulate his idols:

"Wayne Rooney and the Brazilian Ronaldo have always stood out for me. I've always looked up to them.

"Rooney is such a great goalscorer, that is what I want to be. He's done most things on a football pitch and you have to have a role model.

On Ronaldo, he added: "Ronaldo was quite a while ago—but my dad used to show me clips of him. He used to play for all those great teams."

Greenwood also said former United striker Solskjaer and team-mate Marcus Rashford are among his role models, and he wants to follow in the latter's footsteps. Rashford, 22, is a fellow academy graduate who broke into the first team at Old Trafford at a similar age.

As for Rooney or Ronaldo, Greenwood could do much worse than emulate their illustrious careers.

The former is United's all-time record goalscorer with 253 in 559 games for the club. He's also England's top scorer with 53 in 120 appearances.

The latter won the FIFA World Cup twice with Brazil, with whom he scored 62 times in 98 outings. His club career saw him enjoy notable spells at Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Barcelona—where he plundered 47 goals in just 49 games—among others.

Greenwood has played 13 times for the Red Devils this season. He's started four games, scoring three times.

His most recent goal came against Partizan Belgrade in the UEFA Europa League (U.S. and UK only, respectively):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Another #UEL goal for the teenager Mason Greenwood 💫 Manchester United leads ➡️ https://t.co/33crKqClsj https://t.co/d28jjInwlA

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Mason Greenwood scores AGAIN 🙌 Man Utd go up 1-0 after the youngster reacts quickest and finishes with ease! https://t.co/ltARzN3Irw

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette believes he's the most ruthless finisher in United's squad:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

Mason Greenwood is the true killer in United's squad. Martial and Rash can score, but Mason is the true hitman. Ole needs to find a way to start him in the PL now. He's ready. He's going to score lots of goals. #MUFC

The day after his goal, Solskjaer compared Greenwood to former Red Devils and Arsenal striker Robin van Persie:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

OGS likens Mason Greenwood to @Persie_Official with his finishing: "Definitely. He is very composed. What he does is natural to him. Right foot, left foot – I don’t think he still knows which is the best one, which is very difficult for defenders."

Comparisons with the likes of Rooney or Ronaldo may be premature, but the teenager is an exciting prospect with potential in abundance, and he has benefited from United's decision to part with Romelu Lukaku in the summer without bringing in another striker to replace him.

He's not likely to unseat Rashford or Anthony Martial given their current form. Rashford has nine goals in his last 10 games for club and country, while Martial has scored three goals and provided two assists in the five starts he's made for United since returning from injury in October.

Greenwood showed against Partizan he can play effectively alongside the pair, though.

United play 12 fixtures between Sunday and January 1, so the youngster should get several opportunities as Solskjaer looks to keep his squad as fresh as possible during the busy festive period.


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