Inter Milan wingback Juan Cuadrado identifies Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Ronaldinho as his favorite childhood idols.
The 35-year-old had a storied career in Italian football. After eight years at Juventus, he signed for the Nerazzurri as a free agent in the summer.
The Colombian considers his football skills as a gift since he has no idea how his life would have panned out without it.
“I started playing football when I was 5 years old,” said the winger in his interview with Inter TV via FcInterNews.
“My passion for this sport is a gift from heaven. I was born to play football, I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t become a footballer.”
The experienced star then named 2002 World Cup heroes Ronaldo and Ronaldinho as the two players who inspired him the most, while revealing his original playing role.
“My role model? I really liked Ronaldinho and Ronaldo Il Fenomeno.
“I started as an attacking midfielder when I was playing in the youth team in Colombia. I also made my debut for Nacional Medellin in this role.
“Then, due to the injuries, they played me as an emergency full-back. I also scored a goal. From then on, this became my main playing role.”
Inter Milan Veteran Juan Cuadrado Names Ronaldo And Ronaldinho As His Childhood Favorites
Cuadrado also recalled his toughest challenge in life, revealing a time when he didn’t have enough food to eat.
“The most difficult experience in my life was when I went to Argentina as a boy for some tryouts.
“Sometimes I didn’t eat or only had a single meat per day. I was focused on my goal of becoming a professional,
“I returned to Colombia after six months and the opportunity came for a trial with Independiente Medellin. Then I stayed there.”
Finally, Cuadrado tells how his former Fiorentina teammate Luca Toni was behind his nickname “La Vespa”.
“It was born at Fiorentina, Luca Toni coined it. On many occasions, I would deliver a cross but there was no one in the penalty box.
“So Luca would say: ‘How am I supposed to get there? You’re on the Vespa, while I’m riding a camel.'”