Odell Beckham Jr. appeared on English TV show Soccer AM on Saturday morning and the New York Giants’ wide receiver had plenty to say about the ‘other type of football.’
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Beckham was visiting the UK to promote the NFL’s International Series in 2015 and stopped by to talk about a multitude of things with Sky Sports’ Soccer AM.
Asked about his experience playing soccer growing up, Beckham revealed he had dreams to go to Europe to pursue a professional career but didn’t want to leave the USA.
“Until I was 14 I played,” Beckham said. “I started when I was three years old. My coach was pushing for me to try and get on the national team and get tryouts. At that age of 13, 14, you know that to make it big in soccer you are probably going to have to go overseas. Obviously that would be a goal and a dream to do that. At that age it would have been hard for me to leave my family and just get up and go. I played soccer, basketball, baseball, football. And I just said, ‘I don’t think I can leave my family.’ So that’s when I kind of put the soccer dreams aside and stuck close to home with the other sports.”
Asked by the presenters if he thought he could be a professional, Beckham was adamant if he would have stuck to soccer he’d now be a pro.
“Yes,” Beckham said. “Not to disrespect anybody else but I trust my ability and I know what I could do. I don’t know what I could do now though.”
He then added that his playing style was “like a Neymar or Lionel Messi type guy.” Surely Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. national team could use someone like that? Anyway…
Beckham admitted that David Beckham is more famous than him in the U.S. and then spoke about Major League Soccer and the New York Red Bulls, as he aims to catch up with them soon.
“I don’t follow the MLS as much as I should,” Beckham admitted. “I am really in to soccer but with so much going on with my season and some much going on in general, it’s always moving. I haven’t had time to catch up with those guys but I know that they reached out so I will definitely have to check it out.”
As for the American Football chat, Beckham was asked about ‘that’ catch against the Dallas Cowboys.
“When it hit my hand I felt it stick and I just knew I had to bring it down,” Beckham said. “There was no chance of me getting a second hand on it and it was something that I practiced and practiced. I finally got the opportunity in a game and I had to take it.”
He was then asked if it was the ‘greatest catch in NFL history’ which he said he will leave it up to others to decide.
“They [the media] talked about it being the best catch ever and compared it to a lot of other catches and stuff like that,” Beckham added. “I can’t say that it was the greatest catch ever and I hope there is many more to be made. But right now, I will just stick with that one and if they want to stick with that one, I will take it.”
After winning Rookie of the Year in the NFL, did he ever think he would have such a great first year? Here’s a little bit of insight into how he stayed motivated.
“You always set your goals high and shoot for the stars, if you land short of it then hopefully that’s still high enough to be good,” Beckham said. “Honestly, throughout the season I knew that I wanted to win Rookie of the Year and my coach came to me after Week 8 and said ‘you still have a chance of this’ and gave me a sheet and I was tenth on the list of all rookies receivers and I just hung it up in my locker and put it there. I didn’t touch it or anything, just left it there for motivation. I looked at it each and every day and it just motivated me to keep going.”
Has that catch changed how he other teams approach him? Absolutely.
“Absolutely. I was getting coverages I hadn’t see all year,” Beckham revealed. “I was getting a corner and safety over the top, a linebacker dropping underneath. I almost had three guys spying on me or covering me at the same time. I saw a lot of things I was not expecting to see in my first year but it was good I got that I saw them so early and I will be able to prepare for it next year and the year’s to come.”