Chelsea centre back Fikayo Tomori reveals Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane were his idols growing up… before claiming he ‘kept getting upset’ when he was played in defence while in the club’s academy
- Young defender Fikayo Tomori has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Chelsea
- Tomori has featured 14 times for Chelsea in the Premier League this campaign
- But if he had it his way when he was a kid, he may not have become a defender
- He has revealed his idols growing up were Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Co
Fikayo Tomori has admitted that he didn’t want to become a defender when he was growing up while revealing Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane were his idols.
Tomori has enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season under Frank Lampard at Chelsea, featuring 14 times in the Premier League and making four appearances in the Champions League after a fine loan spell at Derby last term.
However, things could have turned out very differently for the 22-year-old, who has admitted he used to get ‘upset’ when he was played in defence during his time in Chelsea’s academy.
Fikayo Tomori has enjoyed a fine breakthrough season at Chelsea under Frank Lampard
The Chelsea centre back has revealed Thierry Henry was one of his idols growing up
Like many players, his footballing inspirations were either strikers or midfielders growing up.
‘Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho – and I was playing just at the time when my dad was crazy about [Zinedine] Zidane – so Zidane was one of my players that I grew up hearing about,’ Tomori said when discussing his idols to Goal.
‘There was also David Beckham, Michael Owen and those kinds of players, Wayne Rooney.’
Tomori was hoping he would follow in a very similar path to his idols but he has since revealed that a chat with his father changed everything after he kept getting played at the back.
Former French star Zinedine Zidane was also a big inspiration to Tomori as a youngster
‘When I first moved to Chelsea at Under-9s, you had three months in defence, three months in midfield and three months in the attack,’ he said. ‘Then from there, they gauge where everyone is. I think it was when I was about 11 [when moved into defence] and before then I played midfielder or as an attacker.
‘Back then, no one wanted to be a defender. I remember the manager kept putting me in defence and I kept getting upset. My dad was like “listen I am going to be honest with you, the way your make up is and the way you play football means you are a defender.” So from there I just became a defender.
‘John Terry became my idol. At that point in time he was the England captain and the Chelsea captain. He was probably the best defender in the world so there was no one better to look up to.
‘Him for sure and [Fabio] Cannavaro was around at the same time when Italy won the World Cup. He won the Ballon d’Or. Then as I have got older I looked at Sergio Ramos, Virgil van Dijk and those are the first current names that pop into my head.’
Former Barcelona star Ronaldinho was also a huge inspiration for the English youngster