Former Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has told the Italian media he was the one who launched the career of Ronaldo Vieira.

The 19 year old earned himself a professional contract with Leeds United in 2016, after nine months in their academy.

Speaking to Giornale di Brescia, Cellino was asked about his policy with Brescia’s youth system, following his experience with Cagliari and Leeds United: “A youth academy which has local talent has always produced great players. Some we didn’t even know were from Brescia. We must learn to grow and keep our young players.

“In Cagliari I made so many Sardinian players, at Leeds two years ago I launched Ronaldo Vieira, who is very strong.”

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Vieria moved to England in 2011 from Guinea Bissau, so is considered a homegrown player, and has represented the English national team at youth level. The midfielder also spent time living in Yorkshire prior to arriving at Elland Road, which led to Leeds United spotting him.

It’s predicted Vieria has a bright future in the game, and he was recently named one of the top twenty U20 players in Europe by CIES Football Observatory.

Cellino was controversial during his time at Leeds United, but launching Viera’s career, as he claims, could be one positive from his reign.