Manchester United star Victor Lindelof has surprisingly named Fabien Barthez and Zinedine Zidane as his idols when he was growing up as a kid.
The Swede is a defender, typically a central defender but capable as a right-back on the odd occasion that he’s needed there and has named a goalkeeper and attacking midfielder as the players he looked up to.
Perhaps the former Benfica man’s ability on the ball largely comes from an influence from Zidane who was known for his playmaking and outrageous goals.
Barthez’s goalkeeping doesn’t seem to have any kind of impact on Lindelof’s game but he’s explained just why both these players were his idols.
Only 23 years of age, it’s not too long ago that the youngster was dreaming of becoming a footballer himself and so it’s not a surprise he’s gone for iconic players of that generation.
According to the Player’s Tribunal, Victor said: “She [Lindelof’s mother] bought me this goalkeeper kit — I think it was of Fabien Barthez, France’s goalkeeper. Suddenly I wanted to be Barthez.
“I’d be out in the yard throwing myself into the mud, making these heroic stops. Ohhhh! What a save by Lindelöf! Then my mother bought me a Zinédine Zidane jersey. Now I wanted to be Zizou.
“I’d be dancing around the pitch, doing pirouettes and playing these amazing passes. My word! Did you see what Lindelöf just did there?!”
Lindelof was discussing how big a role his mother played in helping him realise his dream in becoming a footballer and surprisingly he hasn’t idolised a player that used to play in his position.
There were plenty of capable centre-backs during the Zinedine Zidane and Fabian Barthez years but at least the versatile defender hasn’t gone for any bizarre or lesser known players.