Man Utd legend David Beckhan inspired free-kick maestro Calhanoglu

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 18: Hakan Calhanoglu of Bayer Leverkusen and Dusan Basta of SS Lazio in action during the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play off first leg match between SS Lazio and Bayer Leverkusen at Olimpico Stadium on August 18, 2015 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

Bayer Leverkusen star Hakan Çalhanoğlu has revealed that Manchester United legend David Beckham inspired him as a child.

The Turkish international also stated that his other role model growing up was another free-kick maestro Juninho.

Çalhanoğlu told the official UEFA website: “I try to put the ball over the wall. That is my strength, and if I hit the ball well then it normally goes in. I have watched many free-kick specialists. David Beckham was an outstanding free-kick taker, Juninho as well, and you always have to watch players like that and learn from them. I think every footballer has a role model, and those two were mine – through them I developed my own technique.”

Beckham was renowned for his set-piece taking ability and scored 15 direct goals from free-kicks in the Premier League which was three more than any other player in league history.

Juninho Pernambucano meanwhile scored an astonishing 76 goals directly from free-kicks over the course of his career.

Çalhanoğlu is just 21 however, has already scored an impressive 22 goals directly from free-kicks and is one of the most highly rated young players in Europe.

The free-kick specialist has attracted interest from Manchester United according to German tabloid Bild and TalkSport claim that Çalhanoğlu is also on Arsenal’s radar.

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