First in new seriesIn a series of articles this summer, we've spoken to various members of the Royals squad to find out who they idolised in their formative years as a footballer.
For all of us in love with the beautiful game, as a child there was a player who transfixed us above all others - and for many professionals such figures inspire their firsts steps into a career in sport. First to reveal his reverence....Hope Akpan.
Hope's Footballing Idol....Zinedine Zidane
"At a young age, around the time when I was making the decision that I wanted to become a footballer - that was the time when Zidane was at his peak. I used to love the things he did in midfield, the way the ball just stuck to his feet. When he won the World Cup in 1998 I was about seven, I remember those games as my first experiences of football. I'd go out and play with my mates, I'd pretend to be Zidane or the Brazilian Ronaldo. They were the two legends for me! Even now I look up to players who are still involved in the game. Being from Liverpool, Steven Gerrard has always been a quality player, and I think for me Yaya Toure is the main man at the minute. But looking back, Zidane was the one that inspired me."