Soccer News: Ronaldo is an ‘inspiration’ and ‘extraordinary’ Mbappe is a role model for Swiss star Embolo

    Bril Embolo named Cristiano Ronaldo as an inspiration and Kylian Mbappe as a role model ahead of the World Cup round of 16 match between Switzerland and Portugal.

    Embolo impressed the Swiss in Qatar by scoring twice in the group stage.

    That’s one goal more than Ronaldo managed as the Portugal captain only scored in their first win over Ghana, the goal coming from a penalty kick.

    However, this made Ronaldo the first man to score in five different World Cups and Embolo is proud to have had the chance to take on the 37-year-old on the biggest stage.

    “I think that Cristiano, not only for strikers, but for all athletes, is a great source of inspiration and enriches our time,” he said at a press conference.

    “You can only learn from someone like him. It’s an honor for the player and the person to meet him face to face.”

    France star Mbappe, meanwhile, is in superb form, scoring five goals to lead the Golden Boot fight, and his superb brace against Poland sent the Bleus through to the quarter-finals against England on Sunday.

    Mbappe has already scored nine World Cup goals, the same number as Lionel Messi and more than Ronaldo (eight). At 23 years and 349 days old, he became the youngest player to score five playoff goals since Brazil’s great Pelé in 1958.

    Embolo is almost two years older than Mbappe, but the Monaco forward still sees him as a player to look up to.

    “He’s incredible. He is 23 years old, he is an incredible player, I know him from Ligue 1 and he is a role model even for me,” Embolo said of Mbappe.

    “What he is doing now is really impressive, so I want to congratulate him, he is extraordinary.

    “Nine World Cup goals at 23, that says it all. I really wish him all the best and that he scores another nine goals in World Cups.”

    After a full-blooded victory over Serbia and reaching the top 16, the Swiss hope to win three games in one World Cup tournament for the first time in their history.

    Asked if this was the most promising Swiss team he has played in at a major tournament, Embolo replied: “Like all generations, there are changes. I joined this group six or seven years ago, so it’s hard to say that this is the best generation.

    “There were some really great players and they showed us how to integrate, like Jann Sommer or Granit Xhaka. It is important to keep these values ​​in the team and pass them on to the next generation.

    “If I’ve learned anything, it’s that if we’ve had hard times in our lives or in our clubs, we’ve always been together.”

    This will be the third meeting between Portugal and Switzerland in 2022 as they have faced each other twice in the Nations League in June.

    Portugal won 4-0 in the match played in Lisbon and a week later Switzerland won 1-0 in Geneva.

    “We are ready, the squad is complete. For us, this is a great opportunity to enter the history of Switzerland, we have seen how the Swiss are euphoric about the fact that we are at this stage,” said coach Murat Yakin.

    “Statistics and past do not matter, we will focus on this game. We are familiar with this opponent and proved that we can beat him. Everything else is history.”

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