Barcelona’s new midfield signing Andre Gomes has expressed his admiration for Zinedine Zidane, the boss of rivals Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old star, fresh from a Euro 2016 winning campaign with Portugal, revealed the Frenchman remains one of his sporting role models, despite his decision to join the Catalans instead.
‘Zidane was a very important player for me and I consider him a role model to emulate, just like Andres Iniesta, who I now have the pleasure of playing alongside of. Ultimately, it was a personal decision,’ he told Marca.
The former Valencia star also spoke of his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘Cristiano Ronaldo is my international teammate, I respect him a lot, but on the pitch we are opponents and friendship is left aside.
‘Cristiano [Ronaldo] called me to congratulate me on signing for Barcelona, but we’re rivals on the pitch. I get to play with Ronaldo on the national team, and now I want to take advantage of playing alongside Lionel Messi [at Barcelona].
Gomes has made it clear he also holds current Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta in very high regard.
‘Andres Iniesta has always been a hero of mine and I hope to learn from him as well.’
Gomes made 30 appearances for Valencia last term, scoring three times.