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‘World Cup qualifying goal against Zambia my most memorable strike’

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Iwobi

Everton star, Alex Iwobi, has played against some of the best players in the English Premier League, the World Cup and the UEFA Champions League among other competitions. The Nigerian, who left Arsenal for Everton at the end of last season, here discusses his favourite film, childhood idol and meeting Ronaldinho, among other issues. Excerpts:

What was your first pair of boots?
I think my first pair of boots was T90s. I remember sleeping next to them when my dad gave them to me.

What is your favourite film
I watched Pursuit of Happiness last year and it was fantastic. It almost brought a tear to my eye, but I had to hold out because my dad was with me at the time! It was just a crazy story.

Who is your favourite sportsperson outside of football
I’ll go for Odell Beckham Jr, the NFL player. He comes up on my Explore page on Instagram a lot. He’s got that legendary one-handed catch. It’s incredible.

What is your favourite city
I grew up in London, so I would say there.

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If you could have any superpower what would it be
I’ve always wanted to be so fast that I could click my fingers and just transport somewhere. So, I could just click and be in London, or click again and I’m back at Everton!

What has been your best moment in football so far
For me, it would be scoring the goal that sent my country to the World Cup (against Zambia in October 2017). That was crazy, and to have my mum and dad there was an amazing feeling.

Do you have any hidden talents
Because of football, I’ve always been good at cross-country. I don’t know if that’s a hidden talent but it could be, kind of! Or, when I’m with my friends, we just joke around and start making music together – so I guess that could be a talent, too!

What food do you love
I do love Nigerian food!

What food do you hate
I’m not a sushi fan at all.

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What are you scared of
Snakes or any kind of wild animal that can kill you! I went swimming in the ocean on holiday last year, and it was completely safe, but I always get the feeling a jellyfish or a shark is going to come and get me!

Who is the funniest person you’ve met in football
I’ll give it to my former Arsenal teammate Danny Welbeck. He makes me laugh constantly!

What gets on your nerves
When people come to my house and they don’t leave things the way they found it. Like, if I give them a bottle of water and they don’t throw it in the bin – they just leave it there half-finished. All my friends know that gets on my nerves!

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What drives you
A lot of people drive me, and I drive myself. I motivate myself to become better every day. My family, with their support, and my friends do, too. When I was growing up in London I would go to five-a-sides with my mates and they’d always be telling me what I could do better and always be trying to improve me.

Who was your childhood idol
My uncle, Jay-Jay Okocha. I had the opportunity to go and watch him when he was playing at Bolton a lot. There was even a time when I went to a training session and Sam Allardyce was the manager. They were having a drinks break and Jay-Jay was doing kick-ups with me and Sam was like ‘Jay-Jay, come back, come back!’ He had to go and apologise, because he was just joking around with me instead of training! He spoke to me about moving to Everton, as well, saying that it was a good move and it was time for me to go and become a man and express myself.

Describe the best goal you’ve ever scored
It was definitely the goal in the Europa League final against Chelsea last season, even though Arsenal lost the game. It came out of nowhere. I came on trying to prove a point and I feel like I did.

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What is your nickname
Growing up my nickname was ‘Little-Kickers’ because I was small, and I always used to wear Kickers. And, of course, because of football, you kick the ball… Now it is just Big One-Seven, because of my squad number. It used to be Big Four-Five!

Who is the best player you’ve faced
I played against Messi and it was a hard task! It was Arsenal v Barca and it was him, Suarez and Neymar in their team. All three of them were amazing. After the game you actually come to terms with the fact you played against them. The whole stadium was chanting ‘Messi, Messi’. It was crazy.

Who is the most famous person you’ve met
Ronaldinho, even though I don’t remember it very well because I was very young,. When my uncle was playing for PSG, I was lucky enough to go and meet both of them. I have a photo at home, which means a lot to me.
• Culled from evertonfc.com.

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