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England new boy Jadon Sancho reveals Brazil magician Ronaldinho as his hero

Dortmund teenager has become the first player to be born this Millennium to receive a Three Lions call-up

Jadon Sancho has revealed his hero: Ronaldinho.

The Dortmund teenager has become the first player to be born this Millennium to be given an England call-up.Sancho is in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the forthcoming Uefa Nations League games with Croatia and Spain.


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England new boy Jadon Sancho has revealed his footballing hero

Getty Images
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England new boy Jadon Sancho has revealed his footballing hero

Samba Boy legend Ronaldinho was the teenagers inspiration

Getty Images
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Samba Boy legend Ronaldinho was the teenager’s inspiration

Sancho, 18, is one of the rising stars of the Bundesliga having moved from Manchester City for £8million in 2017.

Asked about his biggest inspiration, Sancho, 18, named the former Barcelona, PSG and Milan ace.

He said: “I used to look at Ronaldinho growing up. On YouTube. That was a big thing for me. I just liked how he used to carry his team and used to try things no one else would try. I liked him a lot.

“I’m a bit tricky, direct, confident obviously. I believe in myself in one-versus-one situations.”

He used to study clips of Barcelona and Brazil magician Ronaldinho

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He used to study clips of Barcelona and Brazil magician Ronaldinho

England boss Gareth Southgate shows Jadon Sancho around St. Georges Park

Rex Features
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England boss Gareth Southgate shows Jadon Sancho around St. George’s Park

Londoner Sancho admits it was a courageous decision to move to Germany where he has delivered nine assists for Dortmund in all competitions this season.

He said: “I believe in myself, so moving to Germany didn’t phase me.

“I moved away from home so young. It was taking one step further to move outside England. I can’t just go down the road and see my friends, but it’s what I want to do long-term. To be a professional footballer, you have to do what you have to do to make myself and my family happy.

“It’s nice. I’m happy to be a part of Dortmund. I have to say thank you to the manager for playing me, trusting me. It’s a noisy stadium. Again, 80,000 people… it’s not every day that you get to play in front of 80,000. I’m just grateful. Just happy.

“At first, I was nervous when I made my debut but now I’m getting used to it.

“I like it a lot. The culture is different. The fans have so much passion for the game and support me every week. It’s a dream come true, so I’m really grateful.”
Sancho received a phone call from Southgate who delivered the good news.

He said: ““I was at training when I first got the call, and straight away I told my parents. They were delighted for me, and I couldn’t stop smiling for the whole day.

Jadon Sancho is the first player to be born this Millennium to be given an England call-up

PA:Press Association
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Jadon Sancho is the first player to be born this Millennium to be given an England call-up

The ex-Man City ace signs autographs for keen youngsters after training yesterday

Rex Features
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The ex-Man City ace signs autographs for keen youngsters after training yesterday

Gareth Southgate could hand Jadon Sancho an England debut against Croatia on Friday

Reuters
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Gareth Southgate could hand Jadon Sancho an England debut against Croatia on Friday

“I was a bit surprised, to be fair. I’m so young and still have a lot to learn. I’m just grateful he’s seen my progress in the Bundesliga. I’m really thankful.”

“I was surprised, me being so young. I knew about Theo Walcott, who was 16… I’m just happy.

“It means a lot to me, especially my family.. I always dreamed of playing for my country when I was a young kid. It’s the biggest thing for me. My Dad was a big fan of John Barnes, growing up. He had a couple of videos of him, growing up. I’d watch them.”

Jadon Sancho has produced nine assists for Dortmund already this season

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Jadon Sancho has produced nine assists for Dortmund already this season

Sancho will now be hoping to transfer that form from the Bundesliga onto the international

Reuters
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Sancho will now be hoping to transfer that form from the Bundesliga onto the international

Sancho was not keen when asked about leaving City. He said: “I don’t really want to talk about City at the moment, if that’s alright. I just want to talk about England

“The growth in England at the moment is crazy. There’s a lot of great young players out there. They’re so determined to play, and watching their idols play. The Champions League is the greatest stage, so I hope the young players reach their potential and enjoy it too.”


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