AS somebody who is as shy and softly-spoken off the park as he is daunting and deadly on it, Odsonne Edouard has no particular desire to be adored.

Yet, the striker has still taken the adulation he has been showered with by Celtic supporters as a result of his exceptional all-round displays and impressive strike rate this season, not to mention the attention he has received as he has gone about his daily life in Glasgow, in his considerable stride.

The 21-year-old Frenchman, who picked up the Ladbrokes Premiership Player of the Month award for August at Lennnoxtown yesterday, knows exactly how it feels to idolise a footballer and what it means to meet them personally.

His hero was Ronaldo when he was growing up and he can still recall the apprehension, excitement and elation he felt during an unexpected encounter with the Brazilian great a few years ago.

“When I was a kid, I was really quiet, so I wouldn’t even go and ask a player for an autograph or a photo,” he said. “The only person I managed to get a picture with was Ronaldo. He was my idol when I was a young player.

“I liked him mainly because of the way he played. He could do everything. He could score, pass, dribble - anything and everything. As a young player, I was also a No.9. When you see a player who can do everything in your position, you just want to be the same as him.”

“I was playing in a tournament in Miami with Paris St Germain on a pre-season tour when I was 17. When we walked into our hotel, he came out of the lift. I was speechless, but I managed to work up enough courage to go over to see him and ask to get my photograph taken with him. It was incredible. Afterwards, I was the happiest boy in the whole world!

“I am somebody who is quite discreet, reserved. I am a simple guy, I am humble. But if a fan stops me in the street and wants an autograph or a photo I will do it no problem. It’s not hard. On the contrary, it’s nice.”

Edouard has done his very best to emulate Ronaldo since their meeting. But there is one aspect of Il Fenomeno’s career he would never copy. The former Barcelona player caused an outcry in Catalonia when he signed for their hated Spanish rivals Real Madrid in 2002. Would the Celtic man ever consider switching allegiances to Rangers? “No, never,” he said with a smile. “It’s impossible!”

The Celtic supporters have replaced the lyrics on the Stone Roses’ song I Wanna Be Adored this season and the strains of I Wanna Be Edouard have been heard at grounds across Scotland and Europe on numerous occasions in recent weeks. Their record £9 million signing admitted he has enjoyed hearing the chant and revealed it lifts him during games when he does. “I am really pleased about it,” he said. “It pushes me on to be my best when I am on the pitch. I hope it is going to continue.”

At times, it is easy to forget the 6ft 2in forward is only 21. He has been the first choice striker at Celtic since his countryman Moussa Dembele departed last summer. He is an automatic selection for big games and will once again lead the line for his team in their opening Europa League group game against Rennes in his homeland tomorrow evening.

Edouard admits that having Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Leigh Griffiths available for selection has been beneficial to the team. But the unassuming player is more than happy to start in the majority of games.

“I don’t feel pressure,” he said. “I just enjoy what I’m doing so I don’t feel the pressure, don’t feel the need to escape any pressure. It (being the first choice striker) doesn’t feel like it added pressure to me. It just gave me more playing time, more chances to play for the team and that gave me more opportunity to show what I could do. That’s the natural way to look at it.

“We are lucky this season to have three good strikers, all in form and no injury problems. It’s much better for the team to have this situation, to have all the players at 100 per cent than maybe one at 70 per cent – that doesn’t work.”

Edouard is more revered and renowned in Scotland than he is in his native France despite scoring four goals in two games for his under-21 side this month. However, he feels no additional need to score against Rennes.

“It doesn’t matter whether I score in France or in Scotland – a game is a game and my focus is to do well no matter where it takes place,” he said.

“It’s very important to get a result for the rest of the campaign. We have prepared for a week and we will be there on Thursday with the intention of really starting well.”