As a young football fan growing up in France, Laurent Koscielny had no shortage of compatriots to look up to and try to emulate
Jean Pierre-Papin, Didier Deschamps, Laurent Blanc… the list goes on - but in fact the player he most admired wasn’t French at all, but English.
“I liked Chris Waddle a lot,” Koscielny told Arsenal Player. “When he used to play for Marseille he was an amazing player - technically with his left foot he was unbelievable.
“I loved to watch him because I think for him football was entertainment , he did a show. When he scored goals or gave assists he played for the fans in the stands.
“I think that’s why I like Marseille and that’s why I like football more than any other sport. It’s because he put a smile on my face and I loved that.”
Now it is Koscielny who is an idol to fans across the globe, and he enjoys it when he sees supporters wearing a shirt with his name on the back.
“I have a big smile,” he said. “I think if they have my name on their shirts it’s because I represent something special for them.
“First I sign the shirt [when they approach me]. They always say, ‘I would like to be like you’ and I say, ‘OK, if you want to be like me, you need to work hard’.
“To be a professional footballer you need to have some humility, to have some respect for your team-mates and for everyone who tries to help you to become a footballer. It’s very important to have all this in your head.”
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