The Italy international made the switch from Sassuolo in the summer, although he did reveal the grumpy Portuguese would not give him his shirt

Villarreal forward Nicola Sansone has revealed that the chance to face Cristiano Ronaldo was part of the reason why he moved to La Liga.

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Sansone, 25, made the move from Sassuolo in August and the Italian has settled well in Spain, scoring five goals in 11 league games.

The three-time Italy international said the opportunity to face Real Madrid star Ronaldo was somewhat behind his move.

“One of the reasons I decided to come to Spain was to play against my idol Cristiano Ronaldo,” Sansone told Corriere dello Sport.

“When I shook his hand, I was smiling like a child.

“I asked for his shirt, but he was annoyed by the draw. He told me he would give it to me next time.”

Villarreal held Madrid 1-1 in September as their fine start to the season saw them sitting third in the table.

Sansone said the target was a top-four finish in La Liga and reaching the Europa League knockout stages.

“The goal is to move to the next stage of the Europa League,” he said. “And reach the top four positions in the league.”

Villarreal visit Athletic Bilbao in their next league outing on Sunday.