Jesse Lingard: Manchester United midfielder says Ronaldinho advice shaped his positive atittude

Saturday 30th November 2019 13:45 GMT

The 26-year-old scored his first goal since January as he captained his boyhood club for the first time in a 2-1 defeat against Astana on Thursday.

Lingard, who has not started a Premier League game since September 30, credits retired Brazil World Cup winner Ronaldinho for the midfielder's upbeat attitude on the pitch, despite a challenging season so far.

"I remember meeting him in America a few years ago, he said to me: 'No matter what, always enjoy football, always play with a smile on your face'," Lingard told the Mirror.

"After that, I constantly do that. It's mad watching videos of him, then actually meeting him and it felt mad for him to actually have that advice for me. You take that on board from one of the all-time greats.

"Everyone who dreamed of being a footballer and is a footballer, our dreams are made and we're in a nice position so all I can do is smile. Of course, you want to win the game but that enjoyment side is important."

Lingard was part of the England squad that reached the World Cup semi-final last summer but has since lost his place under Gareth Southgate.

He insists he is intent on regaining his spot ahead of next summer's Euro 2020 finals, by impressing for United and helping the club achieve silverware this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"There's always that hunger and fight for positions and obviously it goes down to form and where you're at club wise so, for me, it's about getting back to the Jesse that everyone knows and the Jesse Lingard that I know," he said.

"Things can affect that on the pitch, off the pitch, but mentality is key, confidence is key and belief is key.

"For my club, my ambition is definitely a trophy. We've worked so hard last season, this season we started off well.

"A trophy is in our sights and we have to concentrate on winning a trophy, getting that winning feeling by lifting a trophy."

Now On Air
Coast Overnight
Back-to-back music and information right through the night.