As a kid, you obviously dream of being a professional footballer. I would watch players like Ronaldo of Brazil and pretend to be him in the playground. But I don’t think about trying to become one of the best in the world or anything like that. I just play football
My friends and family keep me grounded.
I was never too much into school. I liked lunchtimes and breaks, but nah, I hated sitting at a desk. I was always looking out of the window, looking at my watch, thinking about when I could play football.
Once you win something, yeah, you enjoy it. But then it’s on to the next game.
Everyone knows that I like to play centrally, where I can drift around. I like coming in off the right flank and having more freedom. I don’t mind playing on the left, although I prefer playing centrally or on the right.
Anything is possible in football.
When I was younger, I had some close friends who always loved European football, and Real Madrid at that time were the dominant force. I remember family holidays when we used to go to Spain, and we’d bring back replica shirts of Real Madrid and pretend to be the players when we played in the park.
You’ve just got to keep working hard, keep plugging along. That’s how great teams win more trophies.
Now that sports science is more advanced, we know that there are so many off-pitch factors that can affect how good you can become. If people are telling you to sleep a certain number of hours, eat specific foods, and drink a certain volume of fluids, then you have to be prepared to listen and learn.
It’s good to have a bad season because you learn a lot about yourself; you become stronger, and you see where you have to improve.
I still mess around and joke with my family and friends like I did when I was nine or 10. For me, nothing’s changed. Sure, I play football, but I try to keep my life off the pitch as simple as possible.
There seems to be this thing in football where everything has to be… now!
I don’t go out, so I don’t get attention from girls. They’re not going to have posters of me on their walls. I just try to get on with my life.
When you play in the Premier League, say you’re playing against a lower-end team, they set up to defend all the time, they set up to block you off. But when you play in the Champions League, all the other teams are used to winning every week, so it’s more of an open game, it’s more attacking, end-to-end.
Playing with and for the best can only help you to improve.
My dad’s the one who’s always been there; he’s my hero, you could say. Even when he was working, he’d do anything for me. He’s been the biggest influence in my life.
I’m a proud Welshman.
I play computer games, watch TV and do what normal people do.
I’ve certainly not got any famous people’s numbers on my phone. It’s just not my thing, really.
The most important thing is to not waste your money.
I think La Liga is the best league in the world.
I’d say that Spanish football is probably the best I’ve seen.
I probably prefer Spanish football to the others. It’s very technical, the way they play; they keep the ball well, and whenever Spurs have played against Spanish teams in the past, they’ve always made it difficult for us.
Whenever I get days off, I go home, or friends and family come up. I’m in contact with them every day, so it’s like we live next door, but obviously we live in two different countries. Football is my job, and everyone around me has given me the opportunity to purely concentrate on football, and everyone else worries about everything else.
I always believed in my ability, but I think in any sport you need that little bit of luck.
Between 12 and 14, I shot up a ridiculous amount. The muscles were struggling to stretch and grow at the rate my bones were growing. It gave me problems with my back and my hamstrings.
I’m ambitious, I want to play in the Champions League, and that’s the aim with Tottenham – to start qualifying for the Champions League on a consistent basi
You’ve just got to listen to what experienced people are telling you. You’ve obviously got to listen to what they want you to do in training and in matches and commit to improving every aspect of your game.
I’d say that La Liga is slightly more technical than the Premier League.
I don’t give much thought to individual awards.
When you’re a sub, it’s a game of more than 11 players starting the game.