Stuttgart's new Argentine midfielder Santiago Ascacibar has described Bayern Munich counterpart Arturo Vidal as the defensive midfielder he most admires, with compatriot Diego Maradona his footballing idol.
The combative 20-year-old completed a transfer from Estudiantes to Stuttgart in late August, and makes his full Bundesliga debut against Wolfsburg on Saturday. Ascacibar may captain Argentina's Under-20 team, but it is a certain Chilean he holds as his inspiration.
"Vidal? He's the most complete player in his position," he told German sports daily Kicker. "There are many strong players in this position, but he combines everything you could need in one player… my football idol is Maradona, though!"
Ascacibar has a tattoo of the 1986 FIFA World Cup winner on his leg, and hopes to ink his own name in Argentina's football history when the competition rolls around again in Russia next summer.
"Clearly, the World Cup in Russia is a goal," says Ascacibar, who has more than enough doggedness and determination to make up for his diminutive stature. "It must be my aim. Perhaps I can do it. My dedication and will to win are part of South American culture."
Stuttgart fans will be licking their lips already; Wolfsburg's might be feeling a tinge of nervousness...