Kieran Trippier counts David Beckham as one of his footballing heroes but laughed off comparisons between himself and the former England captain.
Manchester United great Beckham made his name through vicious deliveries from the right flank and as a dead-ball specialist for club and country.
Tottenham wing-back Trippier has found himself cast in that role for the Three Lions at the 2018 World Cup, with his trusty right boot central to the team’s potent set-piece threat
Trippier’s right-wing corner led to Harry Kane’s last-gasp winner in the Group G opener against Tunisia and John Stones powered home another pinpoint cross to get the 6-1 rout of Panama underway.
A chipped pass from the 27-year-old found Jesse Lingard to win the first of two penalties converted by Kane in the latter game, while another of his corners led to the award of the second.
Such mastery of his craft has evoked memories of one of England’s finest at his peak and Trippier is aware of the “Bury Beckham” comparisons.
“Loads of people are saying this but I don’t think I’m anywhere near Beckham’s qualities,” said the former Burnley defender ahead of England’s last-16 showdown with Colombia in Moscow on Tuesday.
“He was a fantastic deliverer of the ball – set-pieces, dead balls. He scored so many free-kicks and created so much throughout his career.
“All I can do is keep doing the best I can and any opportunity I’ll try and put balls in like David Beckham. I can’t speak highly enough about what he’s done – captain of England, the caps he had and trophies he won all around Europe.”
— Kieran Trippier (@trippier2) June 24, 2018
Despite being a product of Manchester City’s youth academy, Trippier was a childhood Manchester United fan and counts fellow Bury native Gary Neville alongside Beckham as an early inspiration.
“He’s a Bury lad, from just around the corner from me. Defensively he was a quality player throughout his career at United and with England,” he said. “Just look at the trophies he’s won, they speak for themselves.
“His energy, to be up and down for 90 minutes, and his leadership as well. Watching him as a leader of the back line, he was always organising and that’s important. You could see he was passionate.
“Not many people got past him. It was his work ethic and his energy which caught my eye. I wasn’t [in the England squad] when he was part of the coaching staff but it would have been nice to work with him and learn from him.”
Having had his path to the City first-team blocked by the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Micah Richards and Jerome Boateng before moving to Turf Moor on a permanent basis in 2012, Trippier feels a sense of vindication by shining first in a vibrant Tottenham team and now with England on the biggest stage.
“I was at City from such a young age, I was determined to break through. I was there from nine years old to 20, 21,” he added.
“So I was devastated. I wanted to prove them wrong and most importantly [show] that I can play in the Premier League.
“It’s been a long journey but everything I’ve worked hard for and sacrificed has been worth it.”
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