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Chelsea playmaker Mason Mount has previously admitted he “fell in love” with Cristiano Ronaldo’s technique while watching his beloved Portsmouth take on Manchester United at Old Trafford as a child. Mount has refused to put pen-to-paper on a new contract at Stamford Bridge and has been heavily linked with a move to the Red Devils.
Mount was in the Old Trafford stands in January 2008 to witness Portsmouth’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at the hands of United. Ronaldo opened the scoring 10 minutes into the game before adding another goal moments later.
His second strike came courtesy of a sumptuous 30-yard free-kick as he thumped the ball over the wall and into the top corner of David James’ net. And after Mount came up against Ronaldo during a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last April, the England star revealed how much he used to look up to the Portuguese veteran.
“I think everyone has seen the video of when I was younger basing my free-kick off him,” Mount told Amazon Prime. “I always watched him very closely when he was at United as a young kid. I loved the way he played, his free-kicks.
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“I’m a massive Pompey fan, so I went to the game when they played at Old Trafford and he scored that free-kick against David James. I was actually at the game, in the corner, so I saw it first-hand and I think after that I kind of fell in love with the technique and what he’d done, and him as a player.
“So I always try to look at and work out, what can I do, to put it into my game? But now to play against him and be up against him is the journey that you go on from watching someone in the stands as a fan and then to being on the same pitch and playing against them. It’s a crazy journey and yeah, that’s why I love football so much.”
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Mount has become one of the best midfielders in the Premier League since breaking into the Chelsea team during Frank Lampard’s first spell in charge. And he helped the west London giants win the Champions League in 2021 and the Club World Cup in 2022.
But his contract is set to expire next summer and, after reaching an impasse with contract negotiations, the Blues could allow him to depart at the end of the campaign to avoid losing him for free.
The likes of Liverpool and Arsenal have been linked with the 24-year-old, who has made nearly 200 appearances for Chelsea. But United now appear to be the frontrunners to land the star after manager Erik ten Hag reportedly sanctioned a move for him.
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