Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has revealed the six footballers he idolised as a youngster growing up in Spain.
The 27-year-old arrived at Old Trafford from Athletic Bilbao back in the summer of 2014 following a protracted transfer saga that began almost a year earlier.
Herrera has so far played 87 games for the Red Devils, scoring 14 goals along the way and generally acquitting himself well in the English top-flight.
That should hardly come as a surprise though, given the Premier League calibre of a couple of the six players he considers among his idols.
Speaking in a Questions and Answers special for the official Manchester United programme, in quotes carried by the Daily Mirror, the Spaniard shed some light on the players that have influenced his career to date.
"I used to look at midfielders,” Herrera said.
“I came from Real Zaragoza's academy so I had my own idols - maybe you know Gus Poyet and Nayim.
"But in general, of course, Iniesta, Xavi, Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron were amazing. I have a lot of good examples to look at."
Poyet and Nayim played an important role in Zaragoza’s memorable victory over holders Arsenal in the final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1995 with the latter memorably netting the winner with a strike from close to the half-way line.
Andres Iniesta and Xavi’s success with Spain also explains their inclusion in the list while the addition of Red Devils pass-master Scholes is likely to go down well with the Old Trafford faithful.
Naming Veron in his list of idols, however, could prove something of a contentious choice among Manchester United fans, given the disappointing spell he endured at the club.
Signed from Lazio in July 2001 for £28.1m, Veron lasted just two years at the club before moving on to Chelsea for £15m where he also struggled to adapt to the demands of the English game.
Despite this, the Argentine remains something of a fan favourite and recently came out of retirement to play for Estudiantes – the club he also acts as President of.
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