By Alex Stevens
Steve Evans has revealed how Ronaldo Vieira rejected the opportunity to have the name of one of the world’s best players emblazoned on his shirt.
The 17-year-old midfielder made his Leeds debut on Saturday as he came off the bench in the 1-1 draw against Preston.
Vieira, whose first and surnames are synonymous with two outstanding footballers, ignored the chance to have the name of Real Madrid megastar Cristiano Ronaldo on the back of his jersey.
The teenager chose to stick with his surname, which is shared with Arsenal all-time great Patrick Vieira.
Evans told the story about the Academy graduate, who signed professional terms with Leeds on Thursday, ahead of the club’s final match of the season.
“He’s a really nice young man. I’ve met his father on a couple of occasions and they’re really level headed,” Evans told the Leeds website. “He had the clear option to put Ronaldo or Vieira on the back of his shirt, and you know with current status how big Ronaldo is.
“But he didn’t. He said, ‘my name’s Vieira’. It was really classy of that young man to say that. But what two options he had, Ronaldo or Vieira.
“I’m not going to make him out what he’s not. He’s in there on merit.”
Leeds’ failure to secure three points on Saturday means they dropped out of the top half to end the campaign 13th in the table.
In other Leeds news, Evans has admitted he does not expect to be at the club next season.