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‘He was a bit fat by then!’ - Aubameyang recalls learning from 'the best' Ronaldo during AC Milan stint

1:23 PM GMT+4 03/10/2022
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Ronaldo
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he took important lessons from Ronaldo in his younger years, despite the Brazilian being a “bit fat” at the time.
  • Forwards spent time together at San Siro
  • Brazilian icon was past his best by then
  • Was still a source of inspiration to others

WHAT HAPPENED? The Gabonese frontman was contracted to AC Milan between 2007 and 2011, and the World Cup winner also joined the ranks at San Siro around that time. Ronaldo was past his peak by then, but still hit nine goals in 20 appearances for the Rossoneri and showed Aubameyang what was required to become a global superstar.

WHAT THEY SAID: Aubameyang - who has spent time with Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea in his own distinguished career - has said of learning from R9: “At that time, the team was really strong, to tell the truth. Ronaldo, [Paolo] Maldini, [Alessandro] Nesta… I was very young. That is why I chose to go on loan for a few years. I was just trying to improve and looking at [Ronaldo] to learn as much as I could.

“To tell the truth, he was a bit fat by then! But he was still the best. I will always remember when Carlo Ancelotti had a go at him about his fitness, he said, ‘What do you want me to do, run or score goals?’ Ancelotti said, ‘score goals’, and the next game Ronaldo scored twice! It that is part of the character and as a striker, you need that because you have to be strong mentally. I was just a young kid among all those stars, just playing and training. I was just trying to get as much as I can and pick up all these things in my career.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo left European football in 2008 when returning to his homeland at Corinthians, but memories of his stints at PSV, Barcelona, Inter and Real Madrid live on.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR AUBAMEYANG? The 33-year-old recorded his first goal for Chelsea in a 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace and will be hoping that the floodgates have opened heading into a Champions League clash with former side Milan on Wednesday.