Schmeichel: England need a hands-on hero

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel says England are in need of a goalkeeping idol to inspire young players to stand between the sticks. “It would be great now if there was someone who could be an idol to English youngsters,” says the Great Dane in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo. “I think the tradition in this country is that the goalkeeper has always been the guy that didn’t fit in; his body shape was different, so he went in goal. I don’t think that’s helpful.” In the new issue, out now, Schmeichel also talks about his goalkeeping heroes, the English sense of humour and eating fish and chips on the team bus. Schmeichel’s inspiration, Peter Shilton, believes he knows who can be England’s goalkeeping hero – Ben Foster. “He comes out in a big match atmosphere,” says Shilts, who still holds the record for most England caps with 125. However, Schmeichel himself is less sure whether Foster is the answer, but insists an idol will help England to develop good young goalkeepers. “Being a goalkeeper is not a bad job,” he says. “It’s a hell of a challenge because you’ve got to be near perfect all the time.” Schmeichel's interview is part of a special England supplement accompanying the new issue of FourFourTwo, featuring exclusive interviews with the foreign stars who made their name in England – Juninho, Schmeichel and Paolo Di Canio. Also in the new issue: • Interviews with Kaka, Arshavin, Terry, Motty, Stam, Dave Mackay & the Chuckle Brothers • The Top 50 Football League Players • Football’s Top 20 Hoaxes • The Best Youth Team Ever • Inside The Damned United • Swansea vs Cardiff UNITED FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter