England's latest star Jadon Sancho is the new breed of footballer… but above all he had the guts and belief to head to Europe
He is not keen on drinking, spends his time on PlayStation and YouTube and does not support a football team.
Yet most significantly of all, Sancho had the guts and belief to leave the comfort zone of English football and move to a new country — a trend likely to continue among younger players.
The winger, 18, joined Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in August 2017 and has conjured up nine assists for the Germans this term.
And his impressive form — despite mainly playing as a sub — means he is set to become the first footballer born this millennium to play for England.
Sancho is also part of Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2010, who have never known life without a computer.
Ahead of tomorrow’s England game in Croatia, Sancho was asked about his favourite player and said: “I used to look at Ronaldinho on YouTube growing up.
"I just liked how he used to carry his team and he used to try things no one else would.”
The first live match he saw left only a vague impression, as he said: “It was a Watford game. My dad took me but I can’t remember who they played.
“I think Aidy Boothroyd was the manager at the time. Supporting a team? I idolised a lot of great players but I didn’t support a team.”
Quizzed about his typical day in North Rhine-Westphalia, unsurprisingly he said: “PlayStation with a couple of friends. I just chill and watch YouTube most days."
Sancho was born on Saturday, March 25, 2000.
That day, eventual champions Manchester United won 4-0 at Bradford, with Dwight Yorke scoring twice and Paul Scholes and David Beckham also on target.
Dortmund lost 3-2 at Bremen in the Bundesliga that weekend — but names like then star Jurgen Kohler would be lost on a kid who admitted this summer was the first time he had watched a World Cup properly!
But he loves life in Germany and recommends the experience to other youngsters struggling to break through.
He said: “I believe in myself, so moving to Germany didn’t faze me.
“Not everyone is comfortable moving from home. If you’re ready to play abroad and you believe in yourself, why not? I’d recommend it.
“I’m learning German, of course. It’s a bit difficult and I’ve got a long way to go. I’m with my dad in Germany in an apartment.
"I’m happy to be a part of Dortmund. It’s a noisy stadium. It’s not every day that you get to play in front of 80,000!
“I don’t really see myself as a talented player, I like working hard. Working hard brings achievements.”
The Londoner, who will not be trying any German beer but loves eating the schnitzel, was unwilling to talk about his £8million move to Dortmund.
Instead, he has done his talking on the pitch — and his form impressed England manager Gareth Southgate, who made the call personally to deliver the good news.
Sancho added: “I was at training when I first got the call and straightaway I told my parents. I couldn’t stop smiling for the whole day.
“I was a bit surprised, I’m so young and still have a lot to learn. I’m just grateful he’s seen my progress in the Bundesliga.
"Starting two Champions League games was a big thing and Gareth told me to keep up the hard work.”
Sancho joins up with a squad that surprised everyone this summer by making the World Cup semi-finals.
He said: “I’m delighted to be a part of it now. Seeing them play and fight for the country made me so happy.”
Sancho could be about to get an even bigger smile if he gets the nod for his debut this weekend.
He said: “It would be a dream come true, I can’t think of anything better.”
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