NEYM GAME San­cho feels love for ‘dif­fer­ent’ Ney­mar

Sunday Mirror - - TRAVEL - By STEVE BATES

JADON SAN­CHO is fly­ing in the face of foot­ball opin­ion – by mod­el­ling him­self on Ney­mar.

The Eng­land and Borus­sia Dort­mund winger is gain­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as one of Europe’s hottest young stars af­ter light­ing up the Bun­desliga this year and help­ing his side go nine points clear at the top with a late win­ner against Schalke yes­ter­day.

And the 18- year- old has shown that, aside from his pace and skill, he’s strong-minded with an un­shake­able streak of self-con­fi­dence – by in­sist­ing his mod­ern-day hero is Ney­mar.

That might be an un­pop­u­lar choice in some quar­ters with Paris Saint-Ger­main’s bril­liant Brazil­ian di­vid­ing fans with his div­ing an­tics.

Ney­mar, the world’s most ex­pen­sive star at £198mil­lion, was crit­i­cised by Liver­pool for fall­ing over too eas­ily in their Cham­pi­ons League clash in the French cap­i­tal.

That came af­ter a sum­mer of con­dem­na­tion for the South Amer­i­can af­ter play- act­ing dur­ing the World Cup in Rus­sia when he was ridiculed on so­cial me­dia.

But San­cho reck­ons Ney­mar is a star to look up to, de­spite his games­man­ship.

“Grow­ing up, my favourite player was Ronald­inho – that speaks for it­self re­ally, he was such a great player and al­ways played with a smile,” said San­cho.

“Now, it’s Ney­mar be­cause he’s just dif­fer­ent. He takes the mickey out of peo­ple. Ob­vi­ously, it’s not good – but he’s just be­ing him­self, he’s ex­press­ing him­self and I love that.

“Peo­ple are maybe not scared about do­ing what he does, but they just wouldn’t do the things he’s do­ing.

“I think that, when you are dif­fer­ent, you stand out more be­cause it’s an in­di­vid­u­al­ity on the pitch that you don’t see ev­ery day.”

San­cho is aim­ing to be a role model him­self – af­ter tak­ing the brave de­ci­sion to fol­low his dream and leave Eng­land for Ger­many to get the first­team ex­po­sure that was im­pos­si­ble at Manch­ester

City.

The for­mer City youth star left the Eti­had af­ter fail­ing to gain any as­sur­ances he would get reg­u­lar first-team foot­ball un­der Pep Guardi­ola.

He was snapped up by Dort­mund and his ca­reer has soared with per­for­mances earn­ing a fast-track route into Gareth South­gate’s ( right) Eng­land team.

“I think I can be a role model to peo­ple grow­ing up,” he said.

“OK, I’m only 18, but age is just a num­ber re­ally. If you’re good enough, why not?

“In Eng­land, es­pe­cially, foot­ballers don’t leave the coun­try until they are at least 22.

“I would say to any­one, ‘Don’t be afraid to fol­low me and make a move like this’. You are here for one rea­son and that’s to make it as a foot­baller.

“So, when they come me along, you have to take your chances oth­er­wise you can’t suc­ceed. You can’t be your best if you don’t take chances.

“Peo­ple ask me why hy Dort­mund, a place where I don’t speak the lan­guage. But they have a lot of young play­ers and they have faith in them and that’s re­ally good when you are try­ing to de­velop.

“That’s one of the main rea­sons I came, plus it’s a big club in a big league, so why not?

“It’s not been easy at times. It’s hard un­der­stand­ing the lan­guage some­times. I’m learn­ing Ger­man, but it’s tak­ing time. You just have to have a lot of balls to step up and say, ‘I’m gonna do what I’m g gonna do and fol­low m my dream’.

“Ob­vi­ously, City have a great team, b but I just felt my p path­way was lim­ited, give given the play­ers City had, so Dort­mund was the best op­por­tu­nity to ex­press my­self .

“I love foot­ball and will do any­thing to ful­fil my dream. I hope other young English play­ers fol­low my lead. They just feel more com­fort­able with the foot­ball in Eng­land.

“I’m not say­ing it’s wrong for young play­ers to stay in Eng­land. Play­ers progress in dif­fer­ent ways. My way was to go abroad and show peo­ple what I have.

“I’m just show­ing peo­ple that there are other teams who are will­ing to play young play­ers – Dort­mund is one of them. I want to be a player where peo­ple will say, ‘ Yeah, I want him in my team’ and peo­ple like me for who I am.”

PLENTY TO SHOUT ABOUT: Dort­mund star San­cho and (in­set, be­low right) Ney­mar JADON SAN­CHO has re­vealed he won’t let Ger­man bar­bers near his hair.De­spite liv­ing in Dort­mund, San­cho ad­mits he flies his own bar­ber from Eng­land to Ger­many to tend to his hair rather than take a risk with a lo­cal snip­per.“I don’t trust Ger­man bar­bers, so I don’t get my hair cut here,” he said. “When I want a trim, I get my man over from Eng­land.“I’ve seen the bar­bers in Ger­many! I’m loyal. I like my own man. I’d pre­fer not hav­ing a trim for three months rather than go there.”San­cho treated him­self to a Rolex and a Mercedes af­ter mak­ing it into the first team at Dort­mund.But the young­ster is grounded enough to know he’s still got plenty of work to do – es­pe­cially on his left foot.“My weak­ness is my left foot, I need to im­prove it,” he added.“I need to drib­ble more and shoot more with my left foot.“It’s dif­fi­cult be­cause now that I’m play­ing at a high level, I don’t like us­ing my left foot that much be­cause I don’t want to lose the ball.“As I get more com­fort­able in the team, I’m try­ing to use my left more be­cause the man­ager and coaches at Dort­mund keep telling me I need to use my left foot to stay in the team.“I’ve taken that on board.”

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