West Ham United fans could be forgiven for forgetting they signed Goncalo Cardoso last summer.

The young Portuguese defender has not had a look in at West Ham since joining on deadline day from Boavista.

Neither Manuel Pellegrini nor David Moyes have seen fit to give the 19-year-old his head in the first team.

But Cardoso has impressed for West Ham’s Under 23 side and earned a place in the Hammers first team squad over January as a result.

He has quickly become a forgotten man even if he was billed as one for the future on his arrival in East London.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Forgotten Hammers lifts lid on surprise encounter with football great

But now Cardoso has reminded everyone he is still around after lifting the lid on a surprise inspirational encounter with football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (whufc.com).

“As an idol, I really like Cristiano Ronaldo – not for his position, but for the way he works, the way he’s got the way he is now,” Cardoso told West Ham’s official website.

 

“I met him with the national team last summer. We were preparing for the European U19 Championship finals in Armenia. We were in the gym in Portugal doing some exercises and he walked in like nothing.

Photo by Carlos Palma NurPhoto via Getty Images

‘On his holidays he was there’

“We looked around at each other and asked ‘What is he doing?’ What was crazy, but it shows how he works, was that he joined in during his holidays, on a Sunday!

“He was in Lisbon with his family on holiday, and he’d decided to come to the training ground to train. On his holidays, he was there.

“Look at his story. He started from nothing but he started growing, working hard, and he has been at the top for so many years, which gives you motivation as a player.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Cardoso must use inspirational meeting as driving force

“He doesn’t play my position, but he is a hero of mine. His motivation and how he works… it’s incredible.”

West Ham fans will be hoping Cardoso uses the encounter to inspire him to great things with their club.

The centre-back has been lauded for his reading of the game. That was a trait made famous by another footballing legend, West Ham’s own Bobby Moore.

If the attitude and work ethic of Ronaldo has rubbed off on him even just a little bit, Cardoso could yet come good in a big way for West Ham.

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