Englishman wants to learn from the best…
Adam Lallana idolises legendary World Cup winning midfielder Zinedine Zidane, Liverpool’s official website reports.
Our 26-year-old midfielder has also described his Spanish heritage, and the extra hours he’s putting in the gym to improve his on-pitch dynamism.
“One thing people might not know about me is my grandfather is Spanish, from Madrid,” Lallana told NBC Sports. “I don’t know if it influences my game, and he never takes credit for it. He isn’t a massive football fan, actually.
“Interestingly, though, my idol growing up was former Real great Zidane. I watched a lot of him growing up. The way he plays. Even now, he’s a coach at Real but I still go back and watch those clips.”
“Pace isn’t a huge part of my game, but playing the percentages, mathematically, if you can add an extra yard of pace or a couple of percentage points to your game, then that’s massive nowadays.
“So I still do a lot of work in the gym to improve my pace, power and strength to try to get that little bit more explosive power to my game. I’m always working to improve.”
Zidane, like Lallana, could play in a number of attacking midfield positions, but was usually most effective in a central, freer role.
The Frenchman established himself a reputation as the best player in the world, and was temporarily the most expensive player of all time when Real Madrid agreed to pay almost £50m to buy him from Juventus in 2001.
While Lallana doesn’t have the talent to achieve what the great Frenchman did (not many people do), he does have bags of technical ability and a creative spark.
The playmaker did relatively well for England on Saturday evening, and is in contention to play in the friendly match versus Scotland on Tuesday evening.
Providing he comes through the international break unscathed, he’ll be in our squad to face Crystal Palace in the next Premier League fixture.