David Ospina says former Colombia international Rene Higuita remains an inspiration for him and all goalkeepers in his homeland.
The flamboyant stopper was known for his eccentricity and superb reflexes, and rose to prominence after his ‘scorpion kick’ against England at Wembley in 1995.
Higuita remains an idol to Ospina, who says he will keep him and another famous Colombian in mind when he starts to play in the Premier League.
Rene is a legend - there was a before and an after Higuita for us goalkeepersDavid Ospina
“Rene is a legend - there was a before and an after Higuita for us goalkeepers,” Ospina told Arsenal Player. “He was the first one to start playing with his feet and he will always be a reference for all goalkeepers. I’m happy he is well remembered worldwide.
“Faustino [Asprilla] was also an amazing player; he has been an icon for Colombian football.
“He made us all happy and proud with his speed and dribbling skills, and his goals as well - with everything he accomplished in football.
“I very much [feel I am representing Colombia with this move]. Colombians are very happy about everything that is going on with their players, so we have to give our best on the pitch in order to leave our country well represented.”
Ospina’s brother-in-law, James Rodriguez, was one of the stars of the World Cup in Brazil and the new Arsenal goalkeeper says it was a source of pride to everyone in Colombia.
I’m lucky James is part of my family as he is a great footballer and also a great guy. He deserves the bestDavid Ospina
“It was massive for the family, everyone was very happy,” he said. “I’m lucky James is part of my family as he is a great footballer and also a great guy. He deserves the best.
“The World Cup was a beautiful experience. We had a big responsibility since Colombia had not qualified for a World Cup for the 16 years. We were very much looking forward to it and we did very well.
“Everyone in Colombia was very happy during the World Cup and they showed it when we arrived home. The welcome from the people was amazing; we were not expecting something like that, and we were all so happy.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 29 Jul 2014