Ronnie O'Sullivan: Diego Maradona is my all-time idol
Ronnie O'Sullivan has revealed he based his snooker game on the way Diego Maradona played football because he entertained millions.
The five-times world champion told Eurosport that he loved the way Maradona entertained millions when the Napoli icon helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup when O'Sullivan was 11.
"I would say Maradona (is my all-time idol). Ayrton Senna I would say is up there too. He would be my all-time idol," said O'Sullivan ahead of this year's World Championship in Sheffield.
"I don’t really like football but I liked Maradona for the way he played. He was a genius. It was incredible."
O'Sullivan continues to admire his peers, and is inspired by watching Lionel Messi in football, Roger Federer in tennis and Tiger Woods in golf.
"I think Lionel Messi is someone that I love. He’s just an absolute genius," said O'Sullivan.
"I like Roger Federer. He’s an incredible talent and it’s incredible he’s still playing at such a high level. Tiger Woods for me is another one.,
"They’re just consistently performing at a very high level. I have massive respect for people who can consistently perform in their sport at such a high level.
O'Sullivan admits he can do as little as four hour or as much as 12 hours a day in practice sessions.
His favourite female sportswoman is Ethiopian running great Tirunesh Dibaba, the 5000m world record holder and three-times Olympic champion.
"Yes, I met Tirunesh Dibaba a few years ago. Obviously, I’m a keen runner myself so when the opportunity presented itself to meet her and go on a little training run it was a chance I had to take," said O'Sullivan.
"She invited me out to Ethiopia. She didn’t see how serious I was as a runner.
"Because she knew and because she had seen my time. Shes said come run and train with us in Ethiopia. I didn’t take her up on her offer but maybe when my snooker career is over I’ll probably get out to Kenya and Ethiopia to do a little bit of training with them. "