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Exclusive: ‘Truly special’ to be in ‘same conversation’ as Messi and Beckham -Prowse

Exclusive: ‘Truly special’ to be in ‘same conversation’ as Messi and Beckham -Prowse

James Ward-Prowse says it is “truly special” to be talked about as one of the best free-kick takers this century alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and David Beckham.

West Ham’s Ward-Prowse has scored 17 Premier League free-kicks, one short of Beckham’s record.

Asked about Guardiola’s high praise, Ward-Prowse told TNT Sports’ Sign Up – Into Football: “To be spoken about like that from somebody like him is amazing, considering he has coached arguably the greatest player of all time in Lionel Messi, who is not so bad at free-kicks!

“To be in the same conversation as those sorts of players is truly special but I can’t relaxed until I’ve got that record and I can let my stats do the talking!”

Ward-Prowse is yet to score a free-kick since joining West Ham in the summer from Southampton.

He will have another chance to equal Beckham’s record when the Hammers face Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“It’s a scary thought to think I am up there with the likes of David Beckham,” he said.

“It’s not what I necessarily thought I would be able to achieve. It’s a good sign that if you work hard at something and practice it you can almost perfect a skill.

“I’ve not perfected it yet but hopefully I will get the record soon and then I can start talking about it.”

Former Manchester United, England and Real Madrid midfielder Beckham is widely regarded as one of the finest free-kick takers of his generation.

Ward-Prowse says he was an inspiration for him growing up, so much so that he even copied his hairstyles.

“I was in my mum and dad’s garden practising them and pretending to be like him,” he said.

David Beckham over a free-kick

Image credit: Getty Images

“I think I even copied a few of his haircuts as well…So yeah, the head teacher at school wasn’t too pleased when I rocked up with a Mohican, but it was worth it.

“He did that for a lot of children and it is all part of the growing-up process.”

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