Belfast Telegraph

Oliveira inspired by Ronaldo

Swansea's new striker Nelson Oliveira has revealed how Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo influenced his move to the Barclays Premier League.

And Oliveira hopes his loan switch from Benfica ends up with him celebrating a special moment against the 'Special One' on Saturday when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea visit the Liberty Stadium.

Oliveira has won 14 caps for Portugal but his club career has never really got off the ground in Lisbon and the last two seasons has seen him loaned out to Deportivo La Coruna in Spain and Rennes in France.

But Oliveira admits Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo told him the Premier League was the place to be because the intensity of the competition was so high.

"I spoke to Cristiano and asked him whether I would find it easier to play in the UK or in Spain," Oliveira said.

"He told me he loved playing in England with Manchester United.

"He thinks that in England it is more intense with the fans playing a big role, whereas in Spain it is easier to play because the intensity is not so high and the pressure is lower.

"Cristiano is an example to many players in Portugal because of what he has achieved and the Premier League is something any young boy aspires to play in."

Oliveira made his Swansea debut as a substitute in last weekend's 1-1 home draw with West Ham and showed some nice touches as Garry Monk's men went in search of a winner.

The 23-year-old might again have to settle for a place on the bench against league leaders Chelsea with Bafetimbi Gomis leading the line in the wake of Wilfried Bony's departure to Manchester City.

But he admits that it would be a memorable occasion coming up against his Portuguese compatriot Mourinho and former Benfica team-mates Nemanja Matic and Ramires.

"Every team wants to beat Chelsea and that would be a great moment, not only for the fans and the club but for myself," Oliveira said.

"Mourinho is admired by everyone in Portugal and only this week he was considered by Portuguese people as the best manager of the last 100 years.

"He does a great job everywhere he goes and has opened a lot of doors for Portuguese managers as well as being an inspiration to everyone.

"I watch the Chelsea games and I've played with Matic at Benfica and against Oscar in the Under-20s World Cup.

"Matic is a big player for them and I can't see any weaknesses, his technical ability on the ball is very good and is he is both intelligent and a hard worker."

Oliveira's star was on the rise when he scored in Portugal's 2011 Under-20 World Cup final defeat to Brazil and was named the second-best player in that tournament in Colombia.

Less than a year later he was playing for his country at Euro 2012 and he was soon being linked with a £24million move to Manchester United, but he had to leave Benfica to get regular first-team football.

"Yes, I knew something through my agent," Oliveira said of United's reported interest in 2012.

"But I leave that to him and things should happen when they are right.

"It happened before so perhaps now is the right time to come to the Premier League and succeed.

"I have settled very well at Swansea and love it here.

"The club have been great to me and if things go well I would love to stay.

"Nothing has changed in my head, I've come here to work hard and succeed - but maybe now Bony has left I will have a better chance."

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