Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj was left to celebrate on Wednesday as the winger turned 19 on the same day that he received the United fans’ player of the month award.
Coincidentally, a former United great was also celebrating his birthday on the same night, as Cristiano Ronaldo – a decade Januzaj’s senior – followed the 3-0 victory over Atletico Madrid with a party of his own.
Januzaj was presented with a Manchester United-designed birthday cake by his team-mates as well as a £500 cheque to give to charity, with the Belgium-born midfielder choosing Unicef as his nominated beneficiary.
“I would like to thank all of the fans, my team-mates and the coaches,” Januzaj told the club website ManUtd.com.
“I am very happy with this trophy and I hope it is not the last one. I hope there will be a lot more to come.”
Januzaj has burst onto the scene this season, becoming one of very few shining lights at Old Trafford this season as United struggle to adapt to life under David Moyes. The teenager has edged towards a regular starting berth in Moyes first team, although the recent £37.1m addition of Juan Mata has seen him relegated to the bench.
Asked whether he has noticed the new chant fans have for him, Januzaj answered: “Of course. I like it when they sing because it gives me a bit of motivation as well. I am very happy with it.”
One self-confessed fan of his is current Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, after he admitted he is in awe of Januzaj’s ability given his tender age.
Speaking to United’s website, Redknapp said: “The young kid Januzaj – what a player he is! “’He’s amazing and really could be anything. He could become another one of the truly great Manchester United players.”