'I want to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo,' £25m signing Memphis Depay tells Manchester United

Depay believes he can be 'one of the best players in the world'

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The Independent Online

Memphis Depay arrived in England on Wednesday and announced his intention to become one of the best players in the world.

Speaking just days after his £25m move from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United was confirmed, Depay laid out his ambitions at Old Trafford and his inspirations so far, including Louis van Gaal and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Depay was compared to Ronaldo recently by Netherlands team-mate Leroy Fer, and it was not a comparison which Depay shied away from. Rather, he embraced it and said he is aiming for Ronaldo’s stature at the very top of the world game.

“I believe I can be one of the best players in the world and I have to dream and believe to achieve that,” said Depay, at an Under Armour boot launch in London.

The 21-year-old has had a brilliant 12 months, scoring twice at the World Cup in Brazil last year before being the best player and one of the leading scorers in this year’s Eredivisie, which PSV have won easily.

“You just have to work every day on your dreams,” Depay explained. “My dreams started with going to the World Cup and then, when I was there, I scored two goals, becoming the youngest-ever Dutch goalscorer, and I was very happy. But when the World Cup was finished, I realised that was not it. I had to do more on the pitch.”

Tottenham tried to sign Depay last summer but he decided to stay at PSV, a decision vindicated by his performances this season, and his eventual move to United. “When I made the decision to stay, I wanted to be champion and top scorer,” he said. “We became champions in the Dutch league and, with one more game left, I can become top scorer. It was a good choice.”

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Depay will be reunited with former international manager Louis van Gaal

Now Depay will be reunited with Van Gaal, his coach from the World Cup, and he is looking forward to working with a manager who has been so important to him. “He is different,” said Depay, with real admiration. “His performance on the training ground is different from other trainers. After the World Cup, he told me to stay hungry and I told myself to stay hungry.”

Depay wants to reach the top and he is open in his admiration for Ronaldo, whose free-kick technique has inspired him to develop his own effective way of scoring from dead-ball situations.

Depay said that it was “great to hear” Fer compare him to Ronaldo. “It is great to hear that from other players,” he said. “But I am 21 and I have not reached the level of Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a big hero for me and one day I hope to reach that level. He scores so many goals and I want to fight to be one of the best players in the world.”

Under Armour athlete Memphis Depay unveils the new SpeedForm CRM football boot. To learn how the boot is redefining speed on the football pitch, visit www.underarmour.com.

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