Declan Rice is one of the most promising English footballers today. His stellar performances for his club West Ham and his nation have earned him the deserving respect worldwide.
The midfielder recently joined Gary Neville for a conversation on his YouTube channel, “The Overlap”. The player was seen getting candid with the former United defender about his career, childhood memories up north and also delivered his verdict on the GOAT debate between Ronaldo and Messi.
Neville interviewed while walking with Rice through the streets of Kingston-upon-Thames, in southwest London, where Rice grew up. Check out the highlights below:
Loyalties to West Ham amid heavy Chelsea interest
In the interview with Gary Neville, Rice gave some interesting answers to Neville’s rapid-fire questions.
When asked about who his idol was in his childhood, Rice was quick to reply with John Terry. “Everything was JT. The kit JT26 on the back, even when I was young I said if I make it I want to be number 26. But I feel like as I’ve got older now I’ve grown out of that. It would look a little bit creepy,” he further added.
Declan Rice on his ‘childhood idol’ John Terry… 💙 pic.twitter.com/HBgLuXrcND— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) February 3, 2022
He opened up about being a Chelsea fan. He had started playing in the club’s academy until moving to West Ham at the age of 14. He revealed that his whole family was a Chelsea fan, however, they have started loving West Ham equally, after he joined the club.
On being asked about how does that come off for the fans of the east London-based side, he admitted, “I feel like it’s out there, everyone knows, it’s well documented. But I feel like when you play for a club like West Ham you become affiliated to it, and there’s part of me now – and my family as well – that is a massive West Ham fan”.
Mark Noble and David Silva
Declan Rice seemed to be very fond of teammate Mark Noble. He went on to call him a ‘legend’.
As the player nears his retirement, Rice spoke fondly about how great Noble was as a teammate and the one-liners and jokes that he cracks in the dressing room.
He went on to mention a goal by Mark Noble against Leicester City as his favourite goal ever scored.
Upon being asked about his toughest opponent, Declan Rice revealed it to be former Manchester City midfielder David Silva.
“He was just so intelligent. When he had the ball, he was planning his next step. That was him on the ball,” he added.
The GOAT debate
When asked about the age-old question about the greatest player of all time, Rice, almost instantly, declared it to be Messi.
When asked about the reason behind his choice, Rice replied, “I feel like Messi… what he does with a football. He’s just special. We’ll never see a player like him ever again”.
Gary Neville [@GNev2]: “The greatest of all time?”— R (@Lionel30i) February 3, 2022
Declan Rice [@_DeclanRice]: “Messi.” pic.twitter.com/B3kbpQpeCf
However, he also mentioned how he would choose Ronaldo on the “big occasions” such as a last-minute winning penalty. Rice also acknowledged the greatness of both the players and called them a “freak of nature” never to be regenerated ever again.
You have a penalty to win a match that saves your life, who would you choose to take it ?— TCR. (@TeamCRonaldo) February 3, 2022
Declan Rice :
No doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo. pic.twitter.com/k1HfOEduBs