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Watford’s Dennis: Ronaldinho was my idol but I switched over to Ronaldo and Hazard

12:09 PM GMT+4 28/11/2021
Emmanuel Dennis of Nigeria and Watford.
The 24-year-old Super Eagle reveals his current idols and the role he plays in the Hornets’ dressing room before and after Premier League matches

Watford striker Emmanuel Dennis has revealed Brazilian legend Ronaldinho was his idol when growing up but the current players he looks up to are Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo and former Chelsea star Eden Hazard.

The 24-year-old Nigeria international is having a good season with the Hornets since joining the side from Club Brugge. So far this season he has managed to score four Premier League goals from 11 appearances.

While responding to questions asked by supporters on Watford’s midweek show, Inside The Hive, the Super Eagle revealed why he adored Ronaldinho as a youngster and his decision to switch to Ronaldo and Hazard.

“Ronaldinho. He was really different and I used to watch him when I was growing up. I was really into him and his style of football,” Dennis said as quoted by the club’s official website.

“As I grew up I switched over to Ronaldo, Hazard – I just watch everybody because I’m a fan of football so I love very good football players. I’m a fan of every good football player so I watch every football player, even my teammates.

“I then pick and try to add it to myself.”

On joining Watford, Dennis said: “I’m enjoying every part of being here. I’m really happy that I chose to come here. I love having the fans in the stadium when you score and they scream and it’s one of the best feelings.”

On his thoughts about the Premier League, Dennis explained: “It’s really tough, the intensity is really high, but I’m a very fast player, I love running, so I’m finding it easy but there are a lot of quality players. Most players want to be in the Premier League. I’m here and happy.”

Dennis also revealed his happiness at coach Claudio Ranieri’s decision to handle Watford.

“[Ranieri] is an experienced manager and won the Premier League with a team where it is difficult to win it. I was really happy he came here. I just listen to him, what he says I follow,” Dennis continued.

“In training, he calls me '32 Touches'. I’m always on the ball having too many touches, but he’s trying to make sure I do things the right way. For me, sometimes I don’t care if there are five defenders, I’ll try it and if it works, it works.

“But sometimes that’s hard for my teammates. He’s only been here for a few weeks but it’s going really well.”

On being the funniest player in Watford's dressing room, Dennis said: “In the dressing room I’m the clown, always trying to make them laugh, so sometimes when I tell them I’m nervous they say ‘it’s impossible, you being nervous!’ They never believe me, but I’m always very nervous.”

The Hornets will face Leicester City in their Premier League fixture on Sunday and Dennis expects a tough game against Brendan Rodgers' side.

“I remember watching them and it’s the Premier League so it will be a tough game. High pressing, running, and chasing. They’re not a team that wants to keep the ball and play. We just need to be ready for anything that comes,” Dennis concluded.