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Kieran Tierney exclusive: “My mates say I’ve changed – I’d gone from Aldi and Lidl bags to a Tesco one!”

Kieran Tierney
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal and Scotland defender Kieran Tierney has talking about his impressive development in recent months - including his changing tastes in supermarkets.

While his teammates might have expensive bags and backpacks for travelling to away games, Tierney was last season pictured arriving at an FA Cup tie away to Sheffield United carrying his belongings in a plastic carrier bag. While many thought this to be down-to-earth, those closest to the 23-year-old had other views.

“When my mates from back home saw the picture of me with my boots in a carrier bag, they were straight onto me,” Tierney revealed in the Euro 2020 issue of FourFourTwo “They said I had changed, because I’d gone from Aldi and Lidl to Tesco!”

“Everyone else commenting seemed to be talking about how refreshing it was, but my mates were slaughtering me. It wasn’t something I’d thought twice about. I had a pair of boots I had to take with me, and the only thing I had in the house was a Tesco bag. If they’re reading this, I’m still waiting on that endorsement deal!”

The left-back is also known for his aversion to wearing anything more than a t-shirt, even in the harshest winter conditions - which he explains he's "backed himself into a corner" with.

“In terms of the T-shirts in cold weather, it’s as simple as wearing a jumper once for training when I was 15 and feeling restricted in it. I think it was snowing that night as well. I’ve worn T-shirts ever since and I’ve probably backed myself into a corner – if I suddenly went for a snood or some gloves, the medical team here would probably be concerned that I wasn’t feeling right…”

Tierney established himself as one of Celtic's most consistent performers under Brendan Rodgers, becoming an icon of Scottish football. Since joining Arsenal though, he's had a tough time with injuries and says that his main objective is just to become a better player over time.

Kieran Tierney

(Image credit: Future)

“I knew that going to Arsenal was a massive jump and that it would challenge me in ways that wouldn’t even have occurred to me beforehand,” Tierney says. “It’s not been easy, and the transition off the park was a lot harder than it was on it, but having had a bit of breathing space to reflect on things, it’s made me a better player and a better person. That’s the main objective in life, isn’t it? To be the best version of yourself that you can be.”

Looking forward to the Euros, Tierney actually played in Scotland’s last meeting with England, in June 2017, when two Leigh Griffiths free-kicks could – and probably should – have earned a famous Hampden win. It's a game he remembers well.

“I sometimes find myself watching the anthems back,” he says. “The camera cuts to the fans and it’s so loud. That memory will never leave me. It still hurts not to have won. We sat in the changing room, heads in hands. We were so close and should’ve won. Gordon Strachan picked us up and said how proud he was.” 

“First and foremost, you have to play with your head, but for me, so much of football is about playing with your heart.” Tierney insists. “Whether it’s for your club or your country, determination can take you that extra yard. You can’t let emotions get the better of you, but they can fuel you if you channel it properly. I appreciate that these are some of the best days of my life, so I want to take it all in.”

Read the full interview with Kieran Tierney in the new issue of FourFourTwo, out now

Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and get your first five issues for just £5 for a limited time only - all the features, exclusive interviews, long reads and quizzes - for a cheaper price!

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