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Kai Havertz

Havertz inspired by Ronaldinho but won’t be a show pony for Chelsea

10:47 pm AEDT 27/11/20
Kai Havertz Ronaldinho
The Germany international playmaker looked up to an enigmatic Brazilian superstar in his younger years, but insists he is not cut from similar cloth

Kai Havertz admits to being inspired by the exploits of Brazil legend Ronaldinho, but the Chelsea playmaker insists he will not be emulating the Barcelona great by becoming a show pony.

An iconic South American forward once graced the very top of the global game, claiming two World Player of the Year awards during his time at Camp Nou.

Ronaldinho played with a smile on his face and spread joy to those who saluted his efforts from the stands.

He was unplayable at his best, with few able to match his creativity when performing at the peak of his powers.

A generation of talent grew up wanting to by like the World Cup winner, with Germany international Havertz falling into that category.

The 21-year-old is, however, aware that he needs to offer much more than flicks and tricks when turning out for club and country, with his game markedly different to those he aspired to be like.

Havertz told Three’s ‘Connect With’ series: “I follow Cristiano Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi. They have always been idols for me.

“Ronaldinho was a player that I loved to watch in the past. I loved to watch him, but I'm not like him. I don't skill too much, only in situations where I need it.

“When you go on social media, you always see many videos and skills, and I try to do them sometimes in games or sometimes in training.”

Havertz added on the step-over being his go-to move of choice: “I'm not like Neymar, who does them all the time, but I think it's a really effective skill.”

Chelsea will be hoping to see Havertz in full flow over the coming weeks, with a big-money summer signing having struggled for form and fitness throughout his time in England so far.

He is expected to come good, having overcome a slow start to his spell at Stamford Bridge and a bout of coronavirus, and there have been flashes of his brilliance.

One of those came in a Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley, with Havertz still looking to build on the hat-trick that he recorded in that contest.

“Of course when you score your first hat-trick you watch it back and you watch the goals,” he said.

“It was an amazing feeling for me, for my family, but it was just the start and I need to continue.”

Havertz saw 14 minutes off the bench in Chelsea’s last outing, a 2-1 Champions League win over Rennes, and will be pushing for a starting berth when Frank Lampard’s side play host to Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday.