While he continues to find his feet in Manchester United’s first-team, Nigerian-born youngster, Shola Shoretire has made no secret of his desire to emulate Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi’s style of play.
The 17-year-old was promoted to the Red Devil’s first team earlier this year – making three competitive appearances for United before the end of 2020-21 season.
Disclosing his admiration for the Barcelona legends, Shoretire also revealed that Alan Shearer’s feat at the Newcastle United motivated him to begin his career at St James’ Park.
“I was very young when I was in Newcastle.But the people that I looked up to were my favourite players, Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho,” Shoretire told the club’s website.
“I think I have tried to make my game like theirs, quite technical and a good all-round player.
“But then I think, playing for Newcastle, a bit before my time, but Alan Shearer.
“He is the legend up there in Newcastle for what he’s done for the club. Hearing his stories and the history of the club, that is what got me into playing football in Newcastle.”
Shoretire made his Premier League debut as an 89th-minute substitute for Marcus Rashford in United’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on February 21.
The 17-year-old recalled the experience against his former club, even though he started on the bench.
“It was an unbelievable feeling. Sitting on the bench and just being part of the squad,” he said.
“Then when I was called to come onto the pitch, nothing going through my head. I didn’t know what to think.
“To get my first game against Newcastle, it meant a lot to me because of the journey I have had from Newcastle to Manchester. To be playing against them was really good.”
Shoretire was born in England to a Nigerian father and British mother, which makes him eligible to represent both nations at international level.
However, he would have featured for Nigeria if the team had made it to the U20 Nations Cup or World Cup which was cancelled by FIFA.
“I spoke with the parents and they gave me their words that he will play for Nigeria. He has’nt represented England at any level so it’s a straight forward decision”, a member of the technical department, Nigeria Football Federation told Owngoalnigeria.com