The Kenya international said the former Manchester United striker was his idol when he was growing up
Harambee Stars and Al-Duhail SC striker Michael Olunga has revealed former Arsenal and Netherlands forward Robin van Persie was his idol.
Speaking of his love for the Premier League winner, Olunga is also confident that his rise will inspire younger players to try and achieve their dreams.
The former Gor Mahia and Thika United forward will be appearing in Fifa Club World Cup competition for the first time after he switched from Kashiwa Reysol to the Qatari champions.
“Robin Van Persie was my role model,” Olunga told beIN Sports.
“I feel I learnt something from van Persie and I can transmit it to the young future generations that are looking up to me. I also hope that I can continue to give more people hope not only in Kenya but also in Africa both on the pitch and outside the pitch.
“Playing in Fifa Club World Cup gives hope to the young players in Kenya and across Africa. They can compete at the highest level of football and compete with the best teams in the worked.
“And if I can be able to play then it means that impossible is nothing. If you work hard, be consistent and have the patience then you never know what is written for you as a player.
“It is going to be a big moment for me and I hope it can represent the people who are behind me.”
Should Al-Duhail see off Al Ahly, they will face Bayern Munich in the semi-final and the striker has said that would be a big dream for him and his teammates.
“It is every player’s dream to be at the semi-final of Fifa Club World Cup. Beating Al Ahly and facing Bayern Munich is a dream for everyone in our dressing room,” the Harambee Star explained.
“It is going to be a big moment if we can achieve the fete and compete against the best European club of last season.
“We cannot skip the fact that we have to play Al Ahly, and you cannot prepare for something that you do not know it is going to happen. But I can say for sure we are preparing hard for the Al Ahly game and it is going to be a big test for us.
“I know each player is yearning for the next phase. As the coach said, we have to plan for the job that is in front of us and later if we can progress we can see how to approach the [Bayern Munich] game.”
Olunga has already played three games for the Qatari champions and scored a hat-trick against Al Ahli in the Round of 16 of the Emir Cup.