NEW Don Ronald Hernandez says facing the world’s best has prepared him for Scottish football.
The Venezuelan right-back signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Aberdeen on transfer deadline day after completing a move from Norwegian side Stabaek.
After being on the bench for Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Rangers at Ibrox, Hernandez may make his debut tonight when St Johnstone visit Pittodrie.
Despite being only 22, the defender has experienced plenty in a fledgling career to date.
Having started off with Zamora in his homeland, Hernandez moved to Norway and Stabaek
Internationally, he helped Venezuela’s Under-20s reach the World Cup final in 2017, where they lost 1-0 to England.
Hernandez has since gone on to represent his country at senior level and played last summer against Brazil and Argentina in the Copa America.
In a group stage draw with Brazil he faced Roberto Firmino, Phillippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus, while in the 2-0 quarter-final defeat to Argentina Hernandez went toe to toe with Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala.
The Pittodrie new boy reckons these experiences will serve
him well during his time with
He said: “These players you always see on the TV and when you meet there on the pitch, one against one, it is a different feeling.
“I cannot hide my admiration for them but when we are on the pitch we are the same.
“We are in a 50-50 for the ball and I want to beat them and they want to beat me, this is football.
“I felt I played well against them. They are stars and, as you know, it was tough games but I feel I did well.
“Of course, it helps because they are big players playing in
“So if I play well against them, I can play well against every team.”
Hernandez has won 15 caps for Venezuela and representing his homeland is something that means a lot to him.
He added: “I’m always proud to represent my home country and it is a different feeling. I’ll always be proud and I’ll work hard to try to get into the Aberdeen team, to then get to the national team.”
Hernandez says it was his dream growing up in South America to play in Europe.
He has taken inspiration from others he has seen follow the same path, such as fellow Venezuelan international right-back Roberto Rosales.
He moved to Europe as an 18-year-old, joining Belgian outfit Gent in May 2007.
Rosales has since gone on to play for Dutch side FC Twente, Malaga and Espanyol in Spain and the 31-year-old is still in the country with La Liga side Leganes.
Hernandez said: “For me this is our dream as South American players, to come to Europe.
“Roberto Rosales is our right-back (Venezuela). He came to Europe at a young age from Venezuela.
“He came to Belgium and then to Holland and Spain so he is a good character to follow.
“I see him as an example to
me and of course I would like to follow him because he’s had a good career.
“But I try to have a different career. We can’t always go the same way.
“My main feeling when I’m here is to help the team and be myself on the pitch.
“I need to work hard and show good energy on the right side.
“I need to be up and down every day. That’s what I’m
looking to do.”
Hernandez says Dons boss Derek McInnes played an important part in his move to Scotland. “Last week I heard I might get a move,” he said. “I received a call from my friend and agent. He explained everything about how it would work. He spoke about how the team was and how there had been a connection with the club (Stabaek).
“Of course the manager was important. He is the boss and he is the one who makes the decisions every day.
“So to receive a phone call from the boss and speak to him was a good feeling.”