It's what we all wanted to be when we grew up. We all wrote 'In Ten Years' Time' essays at school in which stated we would be playing professional football and driving a Ferrari by the age of 23. When we kicked a ball around the park with Alessandro Del Piero, Paul Gascoine, and David Beckham's names etched across our thoracic spine, we all dreamed of becoming footballers; and doing what we loved for a living.
Surprisingly, not all professional footballers feel the same way about the beautiful game. In fact, the likes of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Bobby Zamora explicitly stating they aren't even fans of the sport; seeing it as merely a way to make money.
Perhaps that why it is so refreshing to hear recently retired Ryan Mason's comments on Tottenham Hotspur star Erik Lamela.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live (quotes via Football London), Mason - who was forced to retire due to a head injury - revealed that he has never met a footballer who loves the beautiful game as much as Lamela:
“Coco’s [Lamela] one of these players, he loves football, I’ve never come across anyone in the game that loves the game as much as him.
“The reason why the gaffer picks him is because one, he trusts him and two, Coco will never ever give anything less than 100 per cent."
The former AS Roma winger recently returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines, and his form since that return has hugely impressed Ryan Mason:
"Coco's had such a long spell out and he's come back and looks fit and strong.
"Full credit to him, it's only because he loves the game and I know he will have been doing absolutely everything in his power to come back and be strong for the gaffer."
Tottenham Hotspur play Juventus in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday night.