ODSONNE EDOUARD has no intention of being an idle idol and is determined to repay the Celtic fans for their vocal support.
The 21-year-old French striker, who picked up the Premiership Player of the Month for August yesterday, revealed he knows all about hero worship.
His favourite player was Brazilian superstar Ronaldo when he was growing up and he can still recall meeting the former Barcelona and Real Madrid icon.
Edouard, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “When I was a kid, I was really quiet, so I wouldn’t even go and ask a player for an autograph or a photo.
“The only person I managed to get a picture with was Ronaldo. He was my idol when I was a young player.
FAN-TASTIC…Odsonne Edouard celebrates after scoring the opening goal at Ibrox earlier this month.
“I liked him mainly because of the way he played. He could do everything. He could score, pass, dribble – anything and everything. As a young player, I was also a No.9. When you see a player who can do everything in your position, you just want to be the same as him.”
Edouard added: “I was playing in a tournament in Miami with Paris St Germain on a pre-season tour when I was 17. When we walked into our hotel, he came out of the lift. I was speechless, but I managed to work up enough courage to go over to see him and ask to get my photograph taken with him.
“It was incredible. Afterwards, I was the happiest boy in the whole world!
“I am somebody who is quite discreet, reserved. I am a simple guy, I am humble. But if a fan stops me in the street and wants an autograph or a photo I will do it no problem. It’s not hard. On the contrary, it’s nice.”
The Hoops fans have replaced the lyrics on the Stone Roses’ song ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ with the word ‘I Wanna Be Edouard’ and the club’s record £10million signing admitted it lifts him during games.
He added: “I am really pleased about it. It pushes me on to be my best when I am on the pitch. I hope it is going to continue.”
CUP WINNER…Odsonne Edouard celebrates scoring the goal against Hearts at Hampden in May that sealed Celtic’s historic treble treble.
Edouard took over the champions’ number one striker last season when his compatriot Moussa Dembele quit for Lyon on the last day of the August transfer deadline in a £19.8 million deal.
Now he has Leigh Griffiths and Vakoun Issouf Bayo vying for the main striking place and he continued: “I don’t feel pressure. I just enjoy what I’m doing, so I don’t feel the pressure, don’t feel the need to escape any pressure.
“It just gave me more playing time, more chances to play for the team and that gave me more opportunity to show what I could do. That’s the natural way to look at it.
“We are lucky this season to have three good strikers, all in form and no injury problems. It’s much better for the team to have this situation, to have all the players at 100 per cent than maybe one at 70 per cent – that doesn’t work.”
Edouard, who will lead the Hooops against Rennes in the opening game in the Europa League group in his homeland tomorrow night, added: “It doesn’t matter whether I score in France or in Scotland – a game is a game and my focus is to do well no matter where it takes place.
“It’s very important to get a result for the rest of the campaign. We have prepared for a week and we will be there on Thursday with the intention of really starting well.”