The Nigerian international holds the Liverpool legend in high esteem, but he admits that he grew up adoring his hero’s fierce rivals.
Super Eagles midfielder Joe Ayodele Aribo has revealed that he supported Manchester United as a boy, a situation he’s aware could displease his club boss, Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard spent the majority of his playing career as a central midfielder for Liverpool, becoming the only footballer to score in an FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final, and a UEFA Champions League Final, winning on each occasion.
A versatile and well-rounded player, highly regarded for his leadership, the Merseyside-born icon is widely considered to be one of the greatest midfielders of all time.
And it’s little surprise that many aspiring young midfielders, including little young Aribo, deem the 2005 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award winner a worthy role model.
However, Gerrard never won the Premier League, with bitter rivals Man United the dominant English force during his playing days.
Gerrard played a vital role in getting Aribo to quit English side Charlton Athletic, and join Glasgow Rangers in the summer.
The Nigerian star has, however, admitted that though he adored Gerrard, he was a big fan of his manager’s sworn foes.
Asked by Rangers TV and quoted by Inside Futbol about his biggest inspiration at Rangers, Aribo replied: “I’d have to say gaffer [Gerrard].
“Everyone knows how good a player he was and what he did in the game.
“I know gaffer’s not going to like this, but Manchester United [were the team I supported growing up],” Aribo revealed.
Aribo has been one of the Light Blues’ key men this term, featuring 47 times for the Gers, scoring nine times, and providing eight assists.