Super Eagles full-back, Ola Aina spoke on life away from Chelsea as a youngster and how it felt like playing against Cristiano Ronaldo.
Newly signed Nottingham Forest full-back, Ola Aina has opened up on life as a footballer in Italy, and how it felt playing against five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Soccernet.ng reports.
The twenty-six-year-old said goodbye to the Turin side in the summer, before joining fellow Nigerian counterparts, Taiwo Awoniyi and Emmanuel Dennis at Nottingham and has opened up on how life was in Italy.
Aina joined Torino from Chelsea in 2018, a loan initially, before the transfer was made permanent.
Speaking on The Beautiful Game Podcast, Aina mentioned how he struggled with cultural differences initially, and how he felt alone.
“It was the first time in a long while I thought I could actually cry because I was alone.
“I stayed in the hotel for two weeks before I could finally ease off.
“I’d go for a walk and get lost because I couldn’t find my way back. I couldn’t speak the language so I didn’t know how to relate with the people, but it got better.” He said
The Nigerian, who has thirty caps to his name mentioned the difference in the atmosphere in the football stadiums in Italy, are better than the ones in England and only probably Anfield stands a chance among the teams in England.
“The atmosphere is wild, what you get in normal games, is what you get in England derbies.”
The 6 ft tall full-back talked up playing against former Real Madrid player and the player with the most goals in the history of football, he heaped praises on Cristiano Ronaldo. Reminiscing on his time in Italy, Aina said;
“Turin Derby, playing against Ronaldo, it was crazy. Off the back of winning the Champions League, he just came from Madrid and he was on my side, and the first thing I thought was, Oh yeah! I’m getting pictures in this game.
“He didn’t get past me a lot. He did a step over once and I thought, Oh!, that’s sharp, but luckily my teammate was close and it wasn’t too obvious, but playing against him was wild.”
Complementing the athleticism of the thirty-eight-year-old, Aina said;
“He’s a proper professional, and obviously, he was getting older and wasn’t as quick and tricky as he used to be but his movement was still top-notch.
“It’s all in the mind, I learned from that, as he doesn’t move without a motive. When he does it, it’s for a purpose.
“He calculates time and efficiency and sometimes I ask why he didn’t move for the ball, maybe he could have gotten it if he had moved, but I realized he doesn’t do maybe’s, he moves when he’s sure he’ll get it.
“We thought we were going to win the game, we were a goal up, but out of nowhere, a header comes, and we’re all square, and it’s Cristiano, he’s clutch.”
When quizzed on whether Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player ever. Aina said;
“Are we still putting Messi in there? I’m a Ronaldo fan but until the last World Cup. Ronaldo appeals more to me, because of the way he worked for it.”
As Premier League action resumes this month, the Super Eagles star is looking forward to establish himself in the League.