Man Utd target Umaro Embalo reveals Di Maria is his idol

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A teenage talent making quite the name for himself at Benfica is hoping to follow in the footsteps of a man who once starred at Estadio da Luz

Umaro Embalo is already sparking talk of interest from Manchester United and admits to idolising a player who went on to represent the Red Devils after impressing with Benfica.

At just 16 years of age, a rising star at Estadio da Luz has already offered enough in his short career to make the Goal 50 NxGn.

Big things are expected of the talented teenager, with comparisons being drawn to some household names across world football.

Among those is Angel Di Maria, an Argentina international who made his name in Europe at Benfica before going on to take in spells at Real Madrid, United and Paris Saint-Germain.

Embalo is now being linked with clubs of that stature, with La Liga giants Barcelona another of his many suitors, and he is happy to be likened to a global superstar, telling Goal: “My idol has always been Di Maria, everyone knows it and it's even my nickname. A lot of people call me ‘Di Maria’.

“It's a great reference for me and I think we have many characteristics in common, many people recognise that.

“I respect him a lot and really enjoy watching his games, enjoying his football. I always follow Di Maria and before my games I watch videos of him to try to imitate him.”

Embalo still has a long way to go before he can claim to have filled the boots of Di Maria, but he is making positive progress.

Many consider him to be the brightest star within Portugal’s next generation, but the exciting prospect is mature enough to know that buying into your own hype is a dangerous game.

He added: “Sometimes people tell me this kind of thing [that he is the star of his generation], but I do not think about it, I just try to evolve more and learn new things.

Umaro Embalo NxGn

“I do not think I'm bigger than anyone, I work for myself and try to improve daily.

“I think I'm in a good moment, I've learned a lot and I'm working hard, doing my best in all training and games and I think things are going well.

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“Benfica have been placing a lot of faith in youngsters, not only in me but also in many of my colleagues.

“The academy has been a source of great hope for the club and this represents a great responsibility. We have to give our maximum every day.

“Our national teams are also very strong at the moment, we have excellent players in all divisions. This is very important for our evolution and for the future of Portuguese football.”

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