Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has explained the influence Ronaldo had on his career during his early days in the Milan academy.
The Chelsea marksman progressed through the Milan ranks during the formative stages of his career and was able to rub shoulders with O Fenomeno during the Brazilian’s one full season with the Rossoneri in 2007/08.
The Samba sensation joined the San Siro club in January 2007 from Real Madrid but featured only 20 times in the subsequent season-and-a-half, with his time limited by persistent injury issues and problems with his weight.
‘Overweight but still great’ — Aubameyang on learning from Ronaldo
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang progressed through the Milan academy which coincided with Ronaldo’s brief spell at the club.
- The Chelsea marksman has explained how the Brazilian legend was a tad overweight at Milan, but still unplayable (click here for full quotes).
- Ronaldo scored nine goals in 20 games for Milan and is one of only five players to score for each rival club in the Derby della Madonnina.
- Chelsea play Milan in the UCL on Wednesday and Sky Bet are offering odds of 9/4 for Aubameyang to score and Chelsea to win.
Despite this, it was evident just how good Ronaldo was whenever he did manage to make the pitch, scoring nine goals in total, including in the Derby della Madonnina against former club Inter, while he also notched a brace in a 5-2 win over Napoli.
Aubameyang, by contrast, was just beginning to find his feet in the sport as Ronaldo’s career was coming to a premature halt. The Chelsea forward never quite made the grade at the San Siro, but he has since described what it was like learning under Ronaldo at the club.
“I know Milan well,” Aubameyang recently said ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League match-up against Milan on Wednesday.
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“At that time, the team was really strong, to tell the truth. Ronaldo, [Paolo] Maldini, [Alessandro] Nesta… I was very young. That is why I chose to go on loan for a few years. I was just trying to improve and looking at [Ronaldo] to learn as much as I could.
“To tell the truth, he was a bit fat by then! But he was still the best. I will always remember when Carlo Ancelotti had a go at him about his fitness, he said, ‘What do you want me to do, run or score goals?’ Ancelotti said, ‘score goals’, and the next game Ronaldo scored twice!
“It that is part of the character and as a striker, you need that because you have to be strong mentally. I was just a young kid among all those stars, just playing and training. I was just trying to get as much as I can and pick up all these things in my career.”
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