Cristiano Ronaldo might not have played as an out-and-out striker for the vast bulk of his career but the Portugal talisman has above and beyond the goalscoring stats of a traditional number nine.

Should he score against Republic of Ireland in Wednesday's 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier in the Algarve, the 36-year-old will break the all-time international goalscoring record, and that's not to mention the hundreds he has plundered at club level.

Needless to say, he is in the headlines currently due to his return to Manchester United after 12 years away but for Ireland striker Adam Idah, he is a player that he has always wanted to emulate.

The Norwich centre-forward will be aiming to add to his seven Irish senior caps against Portugal and ahead of the game, opened up about idolising Ronaldo.

"Everyone's looking forward to that game and especially once you have a player like Ronaldo playing in the game, it is exciting," he said.

"(Ronaldo) is right up there with my favourite player. It's just the way he carries himself. I think he's got an unbelievable attitude, a great work ethic and what he does on the pitch is amazing.

"His goalscoring record is just outrageous so overall he's just one of the best for me."

Idah also kept a close eye on Portugal while he watched Euro 2020 given that Ireland would be tackling the Selecao in the first international after the tournament.

"I think I watched every game in the Euros and watched Portugal quite a bit," he told RTÉ Sport.

"Everyone knows they are a top class team with top class players. But I think for us the main thing to do is keep working hard, keep focused and be ready for the game."

'Once you have a player like Ronaldo playing in the game, it is exciting'

And these are the type of games he and his Ireland team-mates are relishing, he adds.

"There's no pressure. Everyone's excited for the game and we're all just up for it. We're raring to go now," said the 20-year-old.

Idah started Ireland's last fixture in a goalless draw in Hungary back in June and it also saw him reprise his under-21 strike partnership with Troy Parrott, who has gone on loan from Tottenham to MK Dons.

"Me and Troy have played quite a bit at underage levels growing up and I love playing with Troy," he said.

"Everyone knows he has a great goalscoring record and he knows where the back of the net is. The last camp we played up top together and we enjoyed it. I think it's different at senior level football. We still have to get used to little roles that we need to do and we'll pick up on that.

Idah and Parrott struck a productive partnership at Under-21 level under Stephen Kenny

"We spoke briefly after the game and pointed little things out that we could do better. But we also talked about the things that we worked well on. So it's quite exciting to be honest."

Idah added that he had also gotten Parrott's thoughts on how he was settling in at new surroundings at MK Dons in League One.

"I spoke with Troy. He seems to be flying. He's scoring, he's enjoying it so yeah I'm happy for him."

But the Cork native's thoughts are not on seeking a loan move himself at present.

At club level, Idah has appeared in all three of Norwich's Premier League games so far this season but only as an impact sub with Teemu Pukki ahead of him in the pecking order.

"I've been coming off the bench and getting minutes so as it stands I'm at Norwich but right now I'm just focusing on these couple of days coming with Ireland," he said, adding that he has had "no conversations" with his club manager Daniel Farke about the possibility of departing the Canaries for more game-time on loan.

Follow Portugal v Ireland with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app, watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 7pm and listen to live commentary on 2fm's Game On.

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