Daniel James: My Inspiration
Who inspired you to first play football?
James: “There are a few players that obviously come to mind. I think, growing up, I always liked Juan [Mata]. It’s a weird one because, when I first signed for United, meeting him, he’s such a great guy and it was surreal for me to meet him. He was playing for Chelsea in those days when I was watching. Him and [Eden] Hazard together, I always looked up to them two.
“Ryan Giggs, who is obviously my manager for Wales, is always someone I look up to. Not just from the career that he had, but the way he went about it. He played for Manchester United for over 20 years. To play at the top level for that long, to play until you’re 39 or 40, still in the Premier League at the top level, you rarely see that in the game and there’s not many players who are going to do that ever again. To do that, he’s someone to look up to. I’ll say Thierry Henry too, for the things that he did. But probably Ryan Giggs most out of them all.”
Is there anyone outside of football who has inspired you?
James: “My dad always inspired me to be a professional footballer. He always believed in me, so I’d probably say him.”