Steve Nash played with World Cup greats Zidane and Henry in 2004

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LA Lakers basketball star Steve Nash admits he's caught up in World Cup fever as the huge soccer tournament edges ever closer, and in an interview, the NBA player talked about the time he played with former France internationals Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry.

The World Cup begins Thursday when Brazil face Croatia, and massive soccer fan Steve Nash says he's already overly excited at the prospect of watching the worlds top 32 soccer nations going head to head.

Nash plays point-guard for the Lakers, and as well as playing a multitude of roles for them and his previous Phoenix Suns during an outstanding career thus far, he also reveals that he could have played soccer professionally. But he still maintains his biggest soccer moment was playing alongside Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry during a France training session back in 2004.

"I was lucky enough to win a provincial championship in high school in British Columbia — that was an unbelievable experience. But the one that probably takes the cake is I once got a chance to kick the ball around with Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane on the French practice pitch," Nash explained.

"It was at Clairefontaine, where the French national team plays, while they were there prepping for the 2004 Euros. I got a chance to visit while they were in the middle of two-a-days. We were chatting inside between their practices, and then they asked if I wanted to go kick the ball around.

"These are two of the greatest players in the world, in between two-a-days — I'm just like, 'Are you kidding me?' But we ended up kicking the ball around and talking out there for about an hour. You could have taken me out and buried me in the forest after that and I'd have been happy."

Nash will be in Brazil during the World Cup to sample the atmosphere of the tournament and take in a few games in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

"I'm going down there with a travel company called Beck & Score on Tuesday for 12 days. I'll be in Sao Paulo for one game, but mostly Rio — hanging out and seeing a few games but mostly just trying to enjoy the atmosphere," Nash added.

"You could definitely say I'm fired up. A buddy of mine was just telling me: 'You've got the World Cup fever.' And yeah, I'm definitely swept up in it."

Phoenix Suns
LA Lakers

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