Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Jose Izquierdo has revealed that his parents wanted him to become a tennis player, rather than a footballer.
The fleet footed winger spoke about how his Mum prepared the Colombian for life with a racquet as opposed to a football, but it didn’t take long for the Albion man to discover his footballing potential.
He said, “When I was younger my parents wanted me to be a tennis player – and I remember getting home one evening and them telling me that the school were running some extra activities in the afternoons.
“In the end I didn’t choose, but my mum came home the next day with a racquet and kit for tennis – I went to the lessons and couldn’t hit the ball with the racquet, so I started kicking it with my foot – the coach sent me to the other pitches to play football!
“It was there I talked with a coach called Wilson and I started to know about football and the lessons – that was the start of my career.”
Izquierdo also spoke about another passion away from the pitch but admitted that his love for music has had to be toned down recently given the proximity of his neighbours down here on the south coast.
“Music is another passion of mine, I have many friends who are DJs back in Colombia, I learned a lot from them.
“I bought the decks without too much knowledge about it, so then I watched a lot of videos on YouTube about mixing and everything.
“Then I started to get familiar with it – but then a few of my neighbours complained so I don’t do it as much anymore! This city is famous for Fat Boy Slim but I’m not quite at that level yet!”
The midfielder also frequently gets asked about a pet in his homeland – a pig he owns called Peter. Izquierdo shed some light on the story of how he first decided to own the animal, conceding that now he feels like Peter is part of his family.
“It all started when one of my good friends back in Colombia was selling micro pigs, and she offered me one! I said I was living in Brighton, so I couldn’t bring it over to England.
“So, she suggested I give it to someone as a gift, but then I couldn’t think of anyone who’d want one! Then my manager in Colombia was speaking to me, and I decided to surprise him.
“I spoke with him and said she had something for him – when he arrived to meet her he found the pig and he didn’t know what to do. But now he loves him so much as a pet and he’s had him two years!
“He takes care of him in my house in Colombia, he has an Instagram with 30,000 followers and I’m not really sure how that’s possible! But he’s part of the family now and he’s really grown, he’s not that micro anymore!”
TICKETS FOR PALACE
Surely you don't want to miss next Tuesday's eagerly-anticipated match against Crystal Palace on the south coast? Well you don't have to — tickets are still available for the game!
Fans with a purchase history can secure up to two tickets per eligible fan number both online and via the Albion Booking Line on 0844 327 1901*
*calls cost seven pence per minute plus your network access charge.