AS Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes has admitted that he and his fellow countrymen who play for the Argentina national team teased Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho over his love for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Unlike most young players from the South American country who grow up idolising Lionel Messi, Garnacho has never shied away from publicly demonstrating his admiration for Ronaldo.
When Garnacho scored his stunning bicycle kick against Everton, he paid tribute to Ronaldo by doing the Portuguese’s iconic ‘siuu’ celebration.
Former Barcelona, AC Milan and Juventus star Arturo Vidal later took a swipe at the 18-year-old United winger for not being himself and instead ruining his golden moment by mimicking another player’s celebration.
Ronaldo and Messi have of course been rivals for almost two decades, with the pair widely regarded as the two greatest footballers of their generation.
Garnacho received his first senior Argentina call-up in March this year.
Paredes, who is one of the established senior players in the Albiceleste squad, spoke to DSports (via Goal) and remarked, “We joked about it with him.”
“He is very shy and does not answer. Poor guy, we drove him crazy. We also talked to him about what the group is, somehow we try to make them feel part of it and feel comfortable.”
“Although in this case he got very nervous and couldn’t talk. But as he said, I think he is his idol, he always followed him a lot and he plays quite similar.”
Paredes added, “So it’s normal, nothing happens. Obviously, when he comes to the national team he has to change a little bit because there is ours.”
This season, Garnacho has made 22 appearances for United across all competitions so far and has managed three goals and one assist.
At the moment, he seems to have replaced Marcus Rashford in Erik ten Hag’s starting XI selections.