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.