Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has revealed which players he looked up to and idolised while growing up, including two Old Trafford heroes in Patrice Evra and Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as French and Brazilian legends.
Martial joined United from Monaco in 2015 for what was then a world record £36m (rising to £58m) deal for a teenager. But he had seemingly already been following the club for years.
Evra in particular grew up in the same town just outside Paris and had started his football career at the same club, Les Ulis, that Martial later joined. Thierry Henry was another famous graduate.
"I always followed English football…Manchester United because Patrice Evra was there and he comes from the same town as me. I followed Arsenal as Thierry Henry was there, also from Les Ulis," Martial explained in the latest copy of United Review.
If Evra turned a young Martial onto United, then it was Ronaldo who subsequently gripped him.
"It was Cristiano Ronaldo," the 22-year-old said. "He was incredible. He is incredible. I only admired players who dribbled the ball and he did just that. He would put on a real show. To tell you the truth, he got me dreaming that one day it could be me."
Evra, Ronaldo (CR7) and Henry weren't the only ones who inspired Martial. He was also influenced by Brazilian World Cup winners Ronaldo (O Fenômeno) and Ronaldinho.
"My two big heroes were both Brazilian: Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, because they had magic in their feet! Just about every player from my age group back then would probably tell you the same thing," the United number 11 explained.
Citing Zinedine Zidane as a French hero alongside Henry, Martial added, "Another player who I really liked was Nicolas Anelka. He was a really great player, quick with loads of skill.
"I would watch every striker on the internet, and sometimes, right before a game, I'd be by myself watching action clips, so I'd be able to reproduce what they were doing in those videos."
Having spent several of his formative year at Lyon, Martial also noted the admiration he has for former Stade Gerland greats Karim Benzema, Juninho Pernambucano and Lisandro Lopez.
Martial has hit top form in recent weeks and is on course to record the most prolific season of his career to date after scoring seven goals in all competitions so far. His tally to beat is the 17 goals that he managed during his debut campaign with United in 2015/16.