Legendary MotoGP racer Valentino Rossi recently declared that he looks up to Roger Federer for inspiration. The list of people who inspire Rossi also includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tom Brady, but it is Federer who stands at the very top.
Like Federer, Brady and Ibrahimovic, Rossi is also inching towards the twilight of his career. At 42 years of age the Italian is well past his peak, which saw him bag nine championship titles in a span of 12 years.
Ahead of the Spanish MotoGP, Valentino Rossi revealed that he 'adores' Roger Federer's playing style and persona. The Italian highlighted Federer's competitive nature too, and added that he would cheer for the Swiss to win his 21st Slam at Wimbledon.
"My number 1 inspiration is Roger Federer," Valentino Rossi said. "I adore his game and the way he carries himself. Federer continues to compete even at this age and I will cheer for him to win that Wimbledon crown again. There are others such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tom Brady who inspire me as well, but Federer is the one who tops the list."
Like Roger Federer, Valentino Rossi has spent over 2 decades on the professional circuit
Valentino Rossi featured in the Italian Championships and European Championships from 1993 to 1995, but he made his official MotoGP debut in the 1996 World Championship season. 2021 is Rossi's 26th year as a professional MotoGP racer, which speaks volumes about his longevity.
In contrast, Giacomo Agostini, who many regard as the greatest motorcycle racer of all time, spent roughly 15 years on the circuit.
Roger Federer, on his part, turned pro in 1998, meaning that he has spent 24 years on the ATP tour so far. Federer looks set to continue for a year or two more, which should take him past Jimmy Connors' tally of 25 years on the tour.
But unlike Roger Federer, Valentino Rossi hasn't tasted much success in recent years. The Italian has won only one race in the last five seasons (2017 Dutch TT).
That said, Rossi hopes to see himself on the podium at the upcoming Spanish GP. The 42-year-old revealed during his interview that he still harbors hopes of winning the World Championships.
"I will be fighting for a podium (at the Spanish GP)," Rossi added. "If I want to win the title, I will have to be fast and deliver good results. And when you are older, you have to train harder to stay at the top level."
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