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Jeremie Boga's painful memories of facing Cristiano Ronaldo

09:37 GMT+3 03/12/2019
Jeremie Boga Sassuolo 2019-20
The Ivorian has spoken on the experience of going up against the Portuguese maestro

Sassuolo's Jeremie Boga has described facing Cristiano Ronaldo as an inevitable "painful memory."

The Ivorian forward faced the former Real Madrid superstar at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday with the game ending 2-2.

Boga equalised for the Neroverdi after Leonardo Bonucci opened proceedings. It looked like Sassuolo would cause an upset when Francesco Caputo gave them a 2-1 lead, only for Ronaldo to equalise from the penalty spot.

"I already played against him, in Santiago Bernabeu, we had a 5-0 [scoreline] with Granada. eight goals in two games is heavy. When people talk to me about Cristiano Ronaldo, it's inevitably a painful memory that comes to mind," Boga told Foot Mercato.

"Players like him, like Messi, since a kid I watched them play. I try to learn through their games, their efficiency, their dribbling. I'm lucky to see them play, many players would like to be in my shoes. Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard and Hatem Ben Arfa are the three players I prefer, they are different."

Boga was on the books of Chelsea as an academy product between 2009 and 2015, but never made the cut into the first team and was finally sold to Sassuolo in the summer of 2018 having had loan spells at Rennes, Granada and Birmingham City.

He states he has no regrets of not establishing himself at Stamford Bridge.

"It's true that it's a shame. After that I have no regrets. Everything in its time. It certainly was not the time for me to play Chelsea," he continued.

"I always keep it in a corner of my head. If I continue to do what I do, work hard, maybe I'll go back one day."

Chelsea is usually known for not integrating youth in the first team, but Boga is pleased it is finally happening under Frank Lampard, and is happy to see Tammy Abraham - who was born in the same year with Boga, now flourishing.

"For those who do not know him, it's impressive what he does," the 22-year old said.

"I've known him since we were little, we are of the same generation 97 in Chelsea. I know his potential.

"He has always been a scorer, scoring 20/25 goals per season in all categories of youth. So what he does today does not surprise me. I am very happy for him."