United's Dutch left-back
Alex Büttner discusses his childhood football heroes...
When I was young, my hero was Johan Cruyff. I never saw him play live as I was too young, but I watched him on DVDs that my dad, and pretty much everyone in Holland, owned. He was a very good player with great skill, he was quick and scored many goals – he made the game look easy. He played for Ajax, like I did, and his confidence inspired me. And he's Dutch so, for me, he was an idol. Him and Marco van Basten are the Netherlands' greats and Cruyff is one of the best ever.
Diego Maradona was quick, skilful, a fantastic dribbler and scored goals. If you watch the games he played in, some of the tackles on him were unbelievable – harder than now. But he still ran with the ball and scored. That bravery is something I really admire. I remember the World Cup game against England in 1986, when he scored with his hand and then dribbled from his own half past everyone to score – incredible. I sometimes watch DVDs of him or clips on YouTube, and I have a book about him. He was an incredible player.
As a kid, I also had a shirt with Ronaldo's name on the back, the Brazilian one. He was a great player, too – quick and skilful. Just like Maradona, he wasn't worried about being tackled or losing the ball – it didn't stop him trying to dribble past people. As a young player I always tried to have the same confidence when one-on-one with an opponent. I remember watching Ronaldo score for Brazil in the 1998 World Cup semi-final against Holland, and he was top scorer in 2002. Sometimes in the dressing room we watch his skills on YouTube – he seemed to score or make a goal in every game he played. I've seen clips of his great performance at Old Trafford too, when he scored a hat-trick and was applauded by the crowd. He was a special talent.