Football News

England U21 and PSV star Noni Madueke aiming to emulate “confident arrogance” of Messi and Ronaldo

By Ben Green

Published: 11:05, 2 September 2021 | Updated: 17:29, 10 September 2021

England U21 and PSV star Noni Madueke has set his sights on replicating the “confident arrogance” of his idols Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence in Eindhoven, an unconventional route for an English up-and-comer, but one that football is seeing more regularly, notably Jadon Sancho’s surge at Borussia Dortmund, and likewise, Jude Bellingham.

The precocious winger, born in Barnet, north London, initially excelled in the Tottenham Hotspur academy, captaining the club’s U16s and even making his U18 debut at just 15 years of age, but he ultimately sought a different path to senior football, upping sticks for the Netherlands, and even rejecting an offer from Manchester United in the process.


Since moving to the Philips Stadion in 2018, Madueke has experienced a rapid progression to the first team, aided by Jong PSV manager Ruud van Nistelrooy, who is credited with improving the teenager’s proficiency in the final third.

After featuring sporadically in 2019/20, Madueke burst onto the scene last campaign, during which time he scored nine goals and registered eight assists as Roger Schmidt’s men finished second in the Eredivisie, while he has already netted six goals this season in all competitions.

He was recently included in England’s U21 set-up for this month’s international matches against Romania and Kosovo, and speaking ahead of new head coach Lee Carsley’s first foray in the dugout, Madueke was quick to emphasis the importance of playing with a “confident arrogance”.


He told reporters: “All my idols – people like Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi and the new generation guys like [Kylian] Mbappe – play with a confident arrogance. That is something I like and try to implement in my game as well.

“I have high expectations of myself. To me I feel I can be one of the best players in the league and that’s what I want to do. I want to do well for my team. We have already won the Super Cup, got a taste of what it is to win something.

“I want to make sure I am as important to this team (under-21s) as my team back home at club level. We have to keep that mindset and hunger and competitive desire, and there is talent enough for us to be successful.”

Madueke received his first England U21 call-up back in March under Aidy Boothroyd, with the former manager likening his progression to that of Manchester City and Three Lions star Phil Foden, who was also an unheralded gem before establishing his name at international youth level.

“He’s certainly a very talented young man, really excited to be called up by the Under 21s, and a little bit like Phil [Foden] last time, nobody had really heard of him until he came and played in the tournament,” Boothroyd said earlier this year.

“They knew a little bit about him but that set him off on a trajectory and we’re hoping Noni can create even more positive attention for the way that they play. He’s got a lovely infectious character that comes out even over the phone.”

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