Aiden McGeady

Aiden McGeady: Talentspotter

Great hope of Spartak Moscow and the Republic of Ireland, Aiden McGeady answers FourFourTwo's questions back in July 2005, when he was with Celtic.

Nicknames
Aido, I suppose, something original like that.

As a boy I supported...
Celtic. They've always been the only club for me and I've played for them since I was 13.

Strengths
I'd say dribbling, beating players, and looking to set up goals.

Weaknesses
I've definitely still got a lot to work on – heading, crossing, tackling... because I'm playing wide just now, I'm concentrating on crossing a bit more at the moment.

Heroes
Diego Maradona has always been a hero of mine. He just had unbelievable ability.

I play a bit like...
A couple of people have compared me with Ronaldinho, but I'm not at his level just yet!

Highlights
Definitely making my debut last year, when I scored against Hearts and got the Man of the Match award. The other big one was making my international debut for Ireland three months later.

Lowlights
The recent home defeat against Hibs. That was the worst that I've played for Celtic.

International honours
I've played for the Republic of Ireland right up from the under-15 team to the first team. I've got three caps now and I'm desperate to get more.

Toughest opponent
Alessandro Nesta. We played some great teams in the Champions League but Nesta was the toughest player that I can remember us coming across. He was just so strong and seemed to win the ball every time he went for it.

Best player played with
Roy Keane. I've not actually played in a proper game with him yet but during training with the international team he just has such a presence from the moment he steps onto the pitch. I don't think I've ever seen him give the ball away.

Biggest practical joker
At Celtic it would probably be Alan Thompson. He once gave a youth player £20 to wreck the physio's room then went and grabbed the physio and told him he'd heard noises coming from the room so the guy got caught red-handed. Thommo stood there with the physio and pretended he knew nothing about it.

Most embarrassing moment
I haven't really had any bad ones to date. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

Best advice given
The best has to be not to change your game when you get in the first team – loads of people told me that before my debut and it has really helped me. It's easy for young player to get anxious and just play it safe when they get the call-up but you have to remember that you're there because of the stuff you've been doing for the youth team or the reserves. You've got to keep trying things and taking chances.

Biggest influence
It has to be my dad. He played for Sheffield United and really knows what he's talking about. He goes to all my games and is quick to let me know what I've done right and what I've done wrong.

Tunes
I listen to a bit of dance music and a lot of R'n'B. Usher and 50 Cent are favourites and I've just got The Game's new album, which is good too.

Wheels
I had an Audi A3 until a couple of weeks ago when I got myself a BMW 330. You definitely get a bit more attention in the BMW. 

Abi Titmuss or Paris Hilton?
Paris Hilton, absolutely no doubt. I'm not a fan of Abi Titmuss at all.

TV programmes
Hollyoaks and The OC. I watch a bit of EastEnders too but not much or it gets a bit depressing.

If I hadn't been a footballer...
I'd have done something to do with sport; maybe been a PE teacher or a coach. Something that would've given me a chance to kick a ball.

Tell us something we don't know about you...
I could have represented Scotland but I chose to play for the Republic of Ireland instead. It was a major decision for me but I'd played for them since I was 14 and wasn't going to change just because I'd broken through. I've had a fair bit of stick in Scotland for making that choice, but I know I made the right decision.

In five years I'll be...
Hopefully still playing for Celtic and a regular with the Republic of Ireland. 

Describe yourself in five words
Confident, resilient, happy, ambitious, hard-working.

Interview: Neil Forsyth. From the July 2005 issue of FourFourTwo.


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