The Roma winger has described a five-time Ballon d’Or winner as his main role model in the modern game “for what he is on and off the pitch”
Roma starlet Justin Kluivert has named Cristiano Ronaldo as his “idol”, while opening up on his time in Serie A at Stadio Olimpico.
Kluivert completed a move to Roma from Ajax in 2018, having risen through the ranks as a youngster at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.
The 20-year-old racked up 35 five appearances for the Giallarossi during in his first full season at the club, and he continued to play a key role for the team at the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Dutchman’s progress was stalled by an injury suffered at the start of December, but he returned to Paulo Fonseca’s line up towards the end of January.
Kluivert has scored three goals in 15 Serie A outings for Roma this season, and he will be hoping to help the club secure a return to the Champions League come May.
The former Ajax prospect is the son of legendary former Netherlands striker Patrick Kluivert, who he has always looked up to as a source of inspiration.
Kluivert Sr enjoyed an illustrious career at both club and international level spanning 14 years, which he began at Ajax before taking in spells at Barcelona, AC Milan and Newcastle.
His son also looks up to Ronaldo, due to the example he continues to set his peers on and off the pitch while on the books of Juventus.
“For what he is on and off the pitch, my idol is Cristiano Ronaldo,” Kluivert told DAZN. “I’ve admired him since I was a child and I still follow him, but I don’t have a photo with him.”
The winger added on his dream debut for Roma and having to adjust his playing style after arriving in Italy: “I like to dribble and overcome four or five players, but it’s not that easy anymore. I don’t always succeed, but this is my idea to be successful.
“In the first match against Torino, my debut with Roma that I will never forget, I served an assist to [Edin] Dzeko, which was a dream. It was wonderful to be immediately decisive at a new club.”
Kluivert is eager to follow in his father’s footsteps and win the Champions League, after working hard on improving the defensive side of his game over the last couple of years.
“When I arrived in Rome I was terrible in the defensive phase and in Italy, if you don’t play for the others you don’t go on the field,” he said.
“I focused a lot on this, I had a lot of problems in that phase. You have to prove that you are up to it when you have the ball and when you don’t have it.
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“Dad scored in the Champions League final and he won it, I want them to take the same picture when I win it.
“With which shirt? I hope I will wear the Roma shirt, but I can’t read the future. It’s all to be written.”
Roma are due back in Serie A action at home to Bologna on Friday, before focus shifts to a huge meeting with top-four rivals Atalanta on February 15.