How is the premier league different to the Bundesliga?
The Premier League is a lot faster and a lot more physical. You don’t have as much time on the ball so it’s crucial to make early decisions. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and to boss the game on a stage like this you need to be on top form every week.
How do you prepare for a game? Do you have any rituals or superstitions?
I always used to have the same ritual before every game where I make only knots with the laces instead of tying them in the traditional way, and then tuck them in. I think that if you tie your laces in the traditional way it’s harder to control the ball as the surface area is not flat. That’s why I’m so excited for the ACE 16+ Pure Control and having a laceless surface, though I will need a new pre-match routine now!
What did you think when you first saw the ACE 16+ Pure Control?
Honestly? I was so excited. I’ve tried my whole career to minimise the impact of laces on my game. To have a laceless boot is a dream come true.
You’ve already reached double figures when it comes to assists this season, how does it feel to be bossing the game right now?
It’s a really great feeling knowing I’m contributing to the team. It’s easy to boss the game when you’re playing with so many great players and my aim now is to break the record for the most assists in a Premier League season.
We know you boss the game on the pitch but we also know you love cars. What do you drive to boss the road?
I’m a big lover of cars and it’s one of the few luxuries I enjoy spending my money on. Right now you’d find me behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It’s a really awesome car.
We know music is a big part of your life, who do you think bosses the stage?
I’ll listen to music before every match to get myself psyched up and right now I’m really into my Hip Hop. It’s hard to say who is the biggest boss in hip hop, as it’s a genre full of incredible performers. But if I could choose my ideal gig it would be kicked off by Kanye West – currently my favourite artist – followed by Wiz Khalifa and finished by Drake.
It’s no secret that you’re into fashion and have a particular post-match grooming routine. Can you shed some light on this?
I like to take care of myself and take pride in my appearance. Football players like to take care of themselves and pay attention to the way they dress. I think as a human being you need variety; you can’t just do football, you need a combination. Football is of course my main focus, which is a lot of fun and I love to be on the pitch. But I have other interests beside that, like fashion or being with my family. I am a big sneaker fan and adidas has a lot to offer there.
What’s been your footballing highlight to date?
That’s a really difficult question to answer. Winning two FA Cups with my club has been fantastic as it’s something our fans waited eight years for. But the ultimate highlight has to be lifting the World Cup with Germany. There was real expectation around us before the tournament and we stepped up and delivered, including a huge performance against Brazil. It was incredible to walk off the pitch with my team mates knowing that the world would be talking about that game for a long time.
The world’s first high performance laceless boot – the ACE 16+ Pure Control – will be available in a VERY limited number at Sportsmart’s Moorabbin store soon.