France midfielder Yann M’Vila said he admires retired compatriots Patrick Vieira and Claude Makelele.
And the Rennes star, who is considered to be one of the best young midfielders in Europe at present, admitted he tries to emulate Spain’s Xabi Alonso.
“Vieira and Makelele are both role models. When I was younger I used to watch them a lot – they were the best midfield pair around,” M’Vila told UEFA.com.
“Now I look at current players like the excellent Xabi Alonso, who is an example for all up-and-coming defensive midfielders.
“My role is to win as many balls as possible, but also to get the team moving forward with good passes.
“I try to play what (Rennes coach Frederic) Antonetti calls a ‘Champions League pass’. They’re passes that get the ball in an attacking position quickly.”
M’Vila, who has played only 22 minutes so far at Euro 2012 as a substitute, could feature from the start for France in Tuesday’s Group D match against Sweden.