Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has revealed that he very nearly pursued a career in rugby ahead of football.
But his father, who was a second division rugby player in Agen, urged him to take up a different sport.
Laporte's decision to play football proved the right one, as he thrived with Athletic Bilbao and earned a big money move to City in January.
"He didn’t want me to play rugby because it is very hard on the body," Laporte told the Daily Mail. "So I picked up my love for football at school and the rest is history."
The 23-year-old has already impressed fans at the Etihad with his technical proficiency and positional awareness.
"I like to think of myself as a modern defender rather than old school," he said. "I’m trying to evolve with how football is going. The truth is I like the style of playing the ball out and hitting long passes.
"I’ve already learned a lot from Mister [Guardiola]. He is such an influential figure in football. I also looked at the City team. There are so many young players a similar age to myself. That was a major factor in my thinking."
Laporte was in the side that lost disappointingly to Wigan in the FA Cup last week, but he has looked to put that out of his mind ahead of Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Arsenal.
"We had a very bad night though people tell me we have this terrible record against Wigan," he added. "We knew it was going to be difficult and obviously we had a man sent off in the first half.
"Right now the important thing is what is ahead of us — a cup final. Winning would be a great step forward and that first trophy would definitely help the development of the team. It’s clear that winning trophies increases confidence."