Aston Villa central defender Curtis Davies has hailed Rio Ferdinand as his role model and set his sights on becoming as good a player as the Manchester United star.
Davies, recalled to the England squad for the midweek international in Germany, is a long-time admirer of Ferdinand who could return to action with United in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Villa Park.
Davies said: "Rio still sets the benchmark for me because he can perform both sides of the game. He is a great footballer, so composed on the ball, but he can also put his head in where it hurts and put his tackles in."
He added: "He is so cool on the ball. He is the one I look to and I would like to try to emulate his success and the way he plays.
"He has not been in the same England squad as me. It would be good to see what he is like in training but, if you watch him on the pitch, it doesn't matter what he is like in training to be honest.
"He is one of the best and I've followed him for a long time.
"I had a DVD of Rio someone gave me as a joke. One of my mates was a Liverpool fan and, when Rio got his ban, he gave me the DVD and said, 'if you miss him, you can watch the DVD'.
"I actually did watch it. I watched Match Of The Day, I watched Manchester United, he wasn't there - so I turned on the DVD.
"If you can watch a game and see things he does and try to take them into your game, you are only going to be better from learning from a player like that.
"If you want to reach the top, you want to look at what the top players are doing. You look at Rio, John Terry. They are the tops because they do the right thing all the time."
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