That was one FourFourTwo writer's answer when we asked him which footballer he pretended to be at school. Not Ronaldo, Henry or Zidane. Not Rivaldo, Nedved or Owen. Neil Shipperley.
"I had no idea who he was," the faux-Shipperley, who shall remain anonymous claimed. "I just heard it once on a compilation of goals."
We all used to pretend to be someone, whether we tucked our shirt in or donned gloves just to be like our heroes for a kickabout during break time. But who did the FFT readers respond with when we asked? Funnily enough, no one said Shipperley...
The obvious choices
Tried to roll my socks up like @ThierryHenry 😭 https://t.co/2JLnh8leMnDecember 1, 2020
Didn't we all? Thierry himself got that look from Sonny Anderson at Monaco. Wonder if the Brazilian knows that kids all over secondary school playgrounds in England unwittingly copied his look...
Gerrard ,whilst wearing these. pic.twitter.com/m2ftr8MsvxDecember 1, 2020
Perfect for volleying, to be fair.
Paul Scholes, purely on the basis I was ginger.December 1, 2020
Scholesy walked so that Josh Sargent could run.
Pirlo. Thought "looking effortless" and not putting the effort in were the same thing. https://t.co/AEpanb9GivDecember 1, 2020
There's a fine line between the two. We love the idea of Tom panenka-ing penalties simply because he can't be arsed to whack them.
https://t.co/C83fluPVW6 pic.twitter.com/qT9WFbqTFkDecember 1, 2020
Of course, no playground is complete without one of the lads having watched Football Italia last weekend with his dad.
early Adama Traoré - great at dribbling, 0 end product.December 1, 2020
Don't worry Chris, no one is judged on their goals and assists at secondary school. It's all about having fun.
Always Brazilian Ronaldo https://t.co/nGf8CucY48December 1, 2020
Yep, us too. Even if our mum didn't let us have the haircut...
David Beckham, although I’m sure from the people watching it was more Luke Chadwick https://t.co/hME6Zm4m17December 1, 2020
And another one we weren't allowed to copy the trim of. Mum let us get a Chadwick cut, though.
pic.twitter.com/q41SBYNX9aDecember 1, 2020
Michael Owen even had a show on TV where he helped coach kids to become better players. Most children in the late 90s wanted to be this guy so badly.
BergkampDecember 1, 2020
How many kids across the country do you think tried to perfect the goal against Newcastle United?
I talked a LOT of shit as a kid. https://t.co/x2fekiMvjv pic.twitter.com/oPPDZrKcw8December 1, 2020
We wonder if this a self-deprecating comment about your skills or a joke about McManaman's commentary prowess.
They called me Amar-co van Basten https://t.co/KFJheu0xmqDecember 1, 2020
Who did you play with, Amar, Thomas Muller?
I got called Fat Figo, mainly for alliterative purposes rather than descriptive* ones.*I was fat, I was not Figo https://t.co/ufelvZCXJ7December 1, 2020
Well if you'd have played with us Andy, we'd have nicknamed you Fantastic Figo.
احم احم 👀😂 https://t.co/8IY7gU3IDW pic.twitter.com/YBAvkLkfckDecember 1, 2020
FFT also impersonates Mesut Ozil these days - by spending the weekends in front of the TV watching the football rather than playing.
The less-so obvious choices
A fusion of Des Walker, Benito Carbone and Kevin Pressman https://t.co/4ejAobhCP1December 1, 2020
That's right - Des Walker the centre-back, Benito Carbone the forward and Kevin Pressman the goalkeeper. A Frankenstein's footballer if ever we heard of one.
I remember always wanting to be Robert Pires. I remember @EatingRolos telling us he was going to be Hidetoshi Nakarta one day. We were the coolest 9-year-olds in suburban Oxfordshire. https://t.co/WzwNgpbRlqDecember 1, 2020
Someone's been watching too many Nike ads...
Neil Ruddock. I’d just kicked the shit out of people because I was too slow. https://t.co/LYqSPjPnyUDecember 1, 2020
Ahh, the glory of not having refs around. Razor would've been Ballon d'Or level on tarmac.
Doesn’t get better than imitating Joleon Lescott https://t.co/6I768xiJn7December 1, 2020
Was that you that tweeted this, Fred? Or did your phone do it in your pocket?
Gregory Coupet https://t.co/1KLAR2PieJDecember 1, 2020
OK, former France and Lyon keeper Gregory Coupet is not the first goalkeeper we thought we'd see in our mentions when we posted this question. Hell of a curveball.
I legit wanted to (and was allowed to be) Phil Neville https://t.co/JFjLE7VmlgDecember 1, 2020
Famously, no one wanted to be Gary Neville - except for Phil. But apparently, someone actually wanted to be Phil Neville. Dan, we're not surprised your mates didn't take that one first.
Ali Dia https://t.co/2DJ6jaso4FDecember 1, 2020
Zidane, but I was 22 at the time, didn't go down well. Especially the headbuttDecember 1, 2020
Very funny, Adam. At least, we hope you're joking.
Fat Ronaldo. Without the skills or talent. Just the body shape. https://t.co/ExvLn8hXRjDecember 1, 2020
Come on James, put some respect on his name!
Giggs, though me and my brother dated different girls.December 1, 2020
We love your Twitter handle, Mark.
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