Arsenal full-back Sead Kolasinac has revealed that he used to replicate Roberto Carlos and Zinedine Zidane when growing up and practised their dexterity on set pieces. The defender, who generally plays as left wing back for the Gunners, has been an instant hit at the north London club and is a fan favourite.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina international was in the Bundesliga team of the year last season and has already announced his arrival with goals against FC Cologne in the Europa League. He is a regular starter in the Premier League following the departure of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and has been a key part of the Gunners' recent breakthrough in form, not conceding a single goal in the league in September, following catastrophic performances in August.
The former Real Madrid stars were among the best the world had ever produced and while Zidane has established himself as the manager at Real, Carlos has retired from the footballing scene. The Frenchman won the world cup in 1998 and reached the finals in 1996 while the Brazilian tasted world cup glory in 2002.
"Roberto Carlos and Zinedine Zidane are the two that really stayed in my head," Kolasinac told Arsenal's official website. "You don't have to say much about those two, everyone knows them and as a child, they had a real influence on me.
"I remember I used to try to take free-kicks like the one Roberto Carlos scored against France [at Le Tournoi in 1997]. But what I trained more often was that Zidane trick, which I practised a lot on the pitch. It's the roulette - I did it against Leicester. We always practised it.
"I still talk often with my friends about our childhood. Looking back, as soon as school finished, we'd go to the local pitch and play until our mothers would drag us away late at night."