Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli revealed his admiration for Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in a live chat on Instagram with the India national football team captain Sunil Chhetri on Sunday.
The Indian batsman revealed that he is in awe of Ronaldo’s ‘beast mentality’. He also cited the example of a UEFA Champions League clash between Juventus and Atletico Madrid were the Italian club had come back from a 2-0 deficit in the second leg to go through to the quarterfinal.
The Portuguese had scored a hat-trick in Turin which had guided Juventus to make a brilliant comeback and progress to the next round.
When Chhetri asked which athlete Kohli idolises outside cricket, he said, “Cristiano Ronaldo. There are many great athletes. There are so many people you look up to, who are amazing, but for a guy to turn up for big games that regularly... The thing that stood out was, he joined Juventus (and) I remember it was a UEFA Champions League match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid match. They lost 2-0 in the first leg. The second leg they were playing at home. For a guy to say two days prior to the game, to tell his friends that come for the game (because) it is going to be a special night.
“That conviction for a guy to say that we are going to go through and score a hat-trick. That for me is a beast mentality. In the world of sport, there are very few people who can claim to have that kind of a mentality. That mental strength for me is inspiring every time.”
Chhetri too shared an anecdote from the national team where a former team doctor had researched on Ronaldo’s training regime and given it to the players to inspire them.
“I remember our team doctor in the national team, Dr Sandeep. One day we were watching football and he very naively asked me why can't we produce a player like Cristiano Ronaldo. I told him that their level is completely different from ours. So the next day he told me that okay we cannot produce a player like Ronaldo but we can at least follow what he eats, how he trains, the effort he puts in.
“So he researched on Ronaldo’s regime and gave us the blueprint of how he trains, what he eats. I can never forget that.”
The cricket skipper also revealed that leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav has the worst touch among all the Indian cricketers.
“Kuldeep Yadav is a Neymar fan and he always watches football. But when he touches the ball he is horrible."