David Alaba is my role model

Glasgow Rangers defender Calvin Bassey has named his biggest influence Real Madrid’s David Alaba.

The young defender is an academy product from Leicester City. In 2020, Rangers scouted and signed him, and he’s been a fixture in the squad ever since.

During his time at Leicester academy, he explored the forward role and wanted to emulate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, his coaches noticed his defensive abilities and he was soon moved to the baseline where he has since found his footing.

As a result, he had to find a new model for his game and in a recent interview following a successful personal campaign for him, he mentioned that the former Bayern Munich defender is one he admires as he becomes a better defender.

Speaking on a YouTube channel, Bassey said: ‘It has changed over the years as my stance has changed. I started as a winger, so probably Ronaldo and Messi, but now it’s changed a bit for David Alaba.

“He plays in a position similar to mine, left-back and centre-half, and he’s a high-quality player.”

Bassey also spoke about his future ambitions, saying that titles at club and international level with Nigeria are what he desires the most.

He has already won two titles with Rangers, the Scottish Premiership title in the 2020/21 season and the Scottish Cup recently against Heart of Midlothian on the final day of the Scottish football season.

He noted, however, that he would like to test himself against the best while winning those titles, which opens the door for an exit from Ibrox in the near future amid transfer speculation.

“My dream, obviously, is to win trophies,” Bassey said. “I want to be part of a winning team and compete against some of the best players in the world at national and international level.”

It is understood that Premier League suitors are queuing on his doorstep waiting to take him to England. His former manager Steven Gerrard of Aston Villa, who gave him his big break at Rangers, and his former club Leicester City are looking to sign Bassey ahead of the new season.

For now, however, Bassey will focus on showing up for Nigeria as they face Ecuador and Mexico in friendlies on May 29 and June 3 in preparation for June 9, when their campaign qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will start against Sierra Leone.

Bassey will mostly be looking to make a good change for the Super Eagles, having had a mixed first three caps. He showed better quality at Ibrox and in Europe, so Super Eagles fans will hope he can bring that quality to the next games.

This article was last reviewed and updated 2 seconds ago

Rebecca R. Santistevan