In sports especially in football, surviving in competition and thriving in competition are completely different things. While many simply dream to make a name for themselves there are a few who just dream to play with or against the best. Villarreal winger Nicola Sansone, the 25-year-old German-born Italian footballer moved to Spanish La Liga to face Portugal football and Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward previously featured for Italian Serie A club Sassuolo, where he notched 20 goals in 89 appearances during his 2-year stint. He then decided to venture out to compete with world-class players, before being transferred to the Estadio El Madrigal outfit this season.
“One of the reasons I decided to come to Spain was to play against my idol Cristiano Ronaldo,” Nicola Sansone told a foreign publication. The striker was able to fulfill his dream sooner rather than later as he got the life-time opportunity to play against Cristiano Ronaldo in the league match between Villarreal and Real Madrid at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu. “When I shook his hand, I was smiling like a child. I asked for his shirt, but he was annoyed by the draw. He told me he would give it to me next time,” he added. It turned into an outing to remember for Sansone as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Sansone now wants Villarreal to qualify for the UEFA Europa League if not the UEFA Champions League, and to do so his club must aim to finish in the top-four in La Liga. “The goal is to move to the next stage of the Europa League. And reach the top four positions in the league,” he continued. He already has scored 4 brilliant goals in only 8 fixtures for the team in the ongoing campaign, and the future only looks promising for him. Villarreal has been out outstanding so far this season, they are in the third position in the table with 22 points from 11 matches. Sansone and Villarreal will come up against Athletic Bilbao in the upcoming weekend.