'Ronaldo is a great role model & always helped me' - Madrid youngster Lienhart

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The young Austrian is currently on loan at Freiburg, but is hoping to make an impact under Zinedine Zidane when he returns to the Bernabeu

Cristiano Ronaldo is a 'great role model' and is always happy to help at Real Madrid, according to Philipp Lienhart.

Austrian defender Lienhart is currently on loan at Freiburg from Madrid and has featured for the Spanish giants in the Copa del Rey in 2015.

The 21-year-old was impressed by Ronaldo during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu and has highlighted how the five-time Ballon d'Or winner tries to help the club's younger players.

"He's very ambitious and always wants to win, and his work on and off the pitch, for example, in the gym, is extremely impressive," Lienhart told Goal.

"Cristiano is a great role model, especially for the younger players, and he always helped me wherever he could, so, if there were any problems, I could always come to him."

Lienhart is looking forward to returning to Madrid and having the opportunity to work with Zinedine Zidane again after previously being coached by the Frenchman for Castilla.

"It was a wonderful experience," said Lienhart about working under Zidane.

"Of course, I tried to implement all the tips he gave me, so I just wanted to take as much of his advice as possible."

The centre-back originally joined Madrid on loan from Rapid Vienna in 2014 before securing a permanent move, and he admits it was not an opportunity he could turn down.

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“At first I was a bit shocked, but then, of course, I was incredibly happy," he added. "It’s really not commonplace.

“If you get the chance to play for Real Madrid, that’s not a difficult decision.

"My goal was to give the best impression in the game and in training so that they would make a firm commitment to me, and the fact that they actually took that step to sign me made me very happy. That was also a personal success for me as I fought very hard and worked to get that move."

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