Lee Cattermole

Lee Cattermole: Talentspotter

Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole talks to FourFourTwo in June 2006, when he was with Middlesbrough.

Nickname
It's always been 'Catts' from as far back as I can remember.

Team supported
As a local lad it has to be Middlesbrough. I think my dad took me to Ayresome Park when I was a small boy but my earliest memories are as a seven-year-old when Juninho first came to the Riverside. Within a couple of years we'd got to two cup finals at Wembley and they were the first games I can really remember.

Strengths
My work-rate. I'm a hard-working, tough-tackling midfielder and like to get involved for the full 90 minutes.

Weaknesses
I would like to score more goals. When George Boateng was out of the team I played more of a holding role but since he's returned to action, I've got forward more and scored my first Boro goal against Manchester City in April, which was an amazing feeling.

I play a bit like...
I have pretty much based my game on Roy Keane. He is the best midfield enforcer I have ever seen; he worked from box-to-box, liked to get a tackle in, could pass the ball and scored goals. If I can get anywhere near his level I'll be delighted.

Heroes
Roy Keane is a player I've obviously admired, and I've seen the footage of Bryan Robson when he played for England, but as far as Boro are concerned it has to be Paul Ince. He was immense during his time at the Riverside and I loved watching him play.

Highlight
I've had a great time this season, making my full debut at Newcastle and scoring at Manchester City, but knocking Roma out of the UEFA Cup in the Stadio Olimpico was a special moment. The atmosphere was pretty intense and they had quality players on the pitch like Kuffour, Mexes, Dacourt and Perrotta, but we held our nerve and got through on away goals.

Lowlight
Our 4-0 home defeat against Aston Villa when I burst into tears during the game. The team was going through a bad patch at the time and although I'm still only young, I felt partly responsible for what was happening. I get emotional when it comes to football but it's not something I'm ashamed of. I just care about Middlesbrough and wear my heart on my sleeve.

Honours
I've represented England at U16 and U18 level and was drafted into the U19 squad. I've played with the likes of Theo Walcott, Micah Richards and my team-mates Adam Johnson and Matthew Bates, but my aim next season is to break into the U21 set-up.

Best player played with
George Boateng. He's one of those players who you don't notice until he's out of the side. He plays a similar way to Claude Makelele and is one of only a handful of players who can play that role in the Premiership.

Toughest opponent
Simone Perrotta of Roma. He is a fantastic midfielder with great technical ability and it was so difficult to track him because he would venture all over the pitch. He'll be playing in the World Cup with Italy this summer, I'm sure.

Biggest joker
Our coach Steve Harrison. When we're at the airport, he'll be walking along then will suddenly trip himself up in front of people or will make out he's hit his head on someone's trolley. He's totally mental!

School report
I liked PE and Art but football always came first for me, I'm afraid.

Wheels
I've just got myself a Range Rover Sport, which is such a comfortable drive. I started out with a BMW but this is in a different league!

Last iPod download
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. The last CD I went out and bought was BlueStars by Pretty Ricky.

Chicks
Jennifer Ellison does it for me.

Flicks
I saw the Al Pacino film Two For The Money, which was good, but the lads have told me to see Hostel.

TV programme
I'm pretty hooked on Deal Or No Deal at the moment.

Tell us something we don't know...
I once met Ronaldo in America. I was captain of the Boro youth team in the Nike Cup in Portland and all the skippers met him. Unfortunately he couldn't speak a word of English!

Most embarrassing moment
I got a lot of stick off my mates when I cried against Villa. I didn't even think the cameras would pick up on it, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Describe yourself in five words...
Ambitious, confident, aggressive, likeable, level-headed.

In five years I'll be...
Playing regularly in the Premiership and pushing for the full England squad.

Interview: Luke Nicoli. From the June 2006 issue of FourFourTwo.


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He is the best midfield enforcer I have ever seen; he worked from box-to-box, liked to get a tackle in, could pass the ball and scored goals.Im COnference