Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovačić admits he still watches videos of Paul Scholes
He learns from the best
It's very easy to end up down a rabbit hole on YouTube and find yourself watching compilations of the some of your favourite footballers. You do a quick search to check out your club's latest signing, and before you know it you're watching Zinedine Zidane ◦ GOALS & ASSISTS ◦ 2006 World Cup.
It turns out even professional footballers do this. After all, they are no different from you or I - they too have footballing heroes whom they admire and seek to emulate.
Mateo Kovačić, currently at Chelsea on loan from Real Madrid, recently admitted that he still watches videos of Paul Scholes on YouTube.
"Every player has to be himself – but for me Scholes was one of the best ever," the Croatia international told The Sun.
"He was amazing. I still enjoy watching his videos on YouTube. Sometimes I go home and watch him to learn something new.
"He had everything, he was the modern midfielder – scoring goals, defending well, tackling. I don’t copy anybody but I do like to watch Scholes."
Kovačić is a unique blend of all the qualities he lists above. The Croatian's best asset is his dribbling, while Scholes' was his passing, but there are still similarities between the two players a lot that the Chelsea loanee can learn from the Manchester United legend.
More modern examples of players whom Kovačić looks to emulate include Luka Modrić, with whom he has played at Real Madrid and with Croatia, and Andrés Iniesta, who spent 17 years at Barcelona.
"I also watch other players to see what I can do better. Players like Luka Modric and Andres Iniesta, too."
Kovačić, 24, has nailed down a place on the left of Chelsea's midfield trio, alongside Jorginho and N'Golo Kanté, this season. And while he is playing well, he is determined to improve one element of his game: goals.
"That is the problem in my career, I have not scored enough – and it’s something I need to improve on," he said.
He has only scored 21 goals in his 282 career matches. He will hope to bring that total closer to 30 before the end of this season, and looking at how Chelsea are playing right now, he shouldn't have much trouble doing so.