Micah Richards: Talentspotter

Manchester City, England and Team GB star Micah Richards talks to FourFourTwo back in April 2006, when he was just 17 years old.

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

I don't really have one, but goalkeeping coach Tim Flowers calls me 'The Hitter' because I go around smashing people – on the pitch, not in the street!

As a boy I supported...
Arsenal. I just liked Ian Wright at the time, though I supported Leeds where I grew up. If I had to choose it would be Arsenal every time, though.

Tackling, heading and scoring goals – I scored quite a few last season for the under-18s. I was second-highest scorer, I think.

I need to bring the ball out of defence a bit more, like Rio Ferdinand does. I tend to look for the wide pass from the back, but I'm working on that side of my game.

Ian Wright, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Paul Ince when he was with Manchester United. I'd like to take a bit of those four and add them to my game...

I play a bit like...
I suppose I'd have to say Sol Campbell and Ledley King – plus somebody like Vieira. Not that I'm in his class yet – he's in a league of his own.

Making my debut as a sub against my boyhood club Arsenal last October and getting the chance to play at Highbury before it closes. I actually played as an extra forward for the few minutes I was on. Plus making my full debut for City against Charlton last February would have to be up there, too, especially as I got marked eight out of 10 on Teletext! They gave me Man of the Match, too, though Joey Barton won the official award.

I've been doing well in the reserves so when I get left out of the senior squad on the odd occasion it gets me a little down. It also makes me want to work harder though.

I've played for England at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels. I've got five caps so far and scored on my debut for the U16s vs Northern Ireland. I'm playing for the U19s against Slovakia soon.

Toughest opponent
Giuseppe Rossi of Manchester United – I've got to give him some credit because we've had some good battles and he's probably the most technically gifted player I've faced so far. I've also played against Kevin Phillips of Aston Villa for the reserves and he's a handful. He scored twice in that game.

Best players played with
Nicolas Anelka and Shaun Wright-Phillips. Anelka is the best striker I've played with and I'd say Shaun for his all-round game and energy.

Biggest practical joker
Definitely Ben Thatcher. Recently I was wearing boxers – Calvin Classics – that he didn't approve of. He picked me up and ripped my boxers so I had to go home without any. It was actually hilarious at the time.

Biggest influence
My dad, Lincoln, without a doubt. He's been there every step of my career so far.

School report
I did OK at school and left with five GCSEs – in Drama, PE, English, Science and RE.

I've just failed my test but I think I'm getting an Audi A3 soon.

I like 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg and Pretty Ricky. I like R'n'B and rap, mainly.

Home Alone and Rush Hour 2 are my favourites.

Christina Milian – she's my ideal girl. I think she's Bradley Wright-Phillips' dream girl, too.

TV programmes
My Wife and Kids on Trouble TV with Damon Wayans.

I know most players say golf but I have no interest in the game at all. I like going 10-pin bowling with my friends or going to the movies.

If I hadn't been a footballer I'd be...
Maybe a football agent. Something connected to the game in some way.

Describe yourself in five words
Smooth, stylish, laid-back, generous and ambitious.

In five years' time I'll be...
Playing for England – maybe with the World Cup 2010 behind me – and doing well with City in the Premier League.

Interview: David Clayton. From the April 2006 issue of FourFourTwo.

Performance: In the gym with Micah Richards