Zaha: Guly told me to "respect" him

Wilfried Zaha

Guly do Prado

First published in International

England new-boy Wilfried Zaha has spoken of a run-in with Saints forward Guly do Prado last season, in which he alleges the Brazilian told the youngster to show him some respect.

The 20-year-old Crystal Palace winger has been included in Roy Hodgson's squad to face Sweden tonight and is expected to make his senior debut, having previously featured at under-21 level.

Having terrified Championship sides this season and last, the supremely confident Zaha freely admits he wants to face "defenders who will properly test me" and is even prepared to mention himself in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, widely considered the best two players in the world.

That streak of arrogance has hardly endeared him to second-tier opponents, though.

He said: "Last season Guly do Prado at Southampton grabbed me and said 'Respect me'. I'm thinking, 'I don't know you, I don't care who you are, so why should I?'

"It even happens before games now. Brighton's manager Gus Poyet said Will Buckley is better than me, but I don't see the point of coming out with nonsense like that.

"Now I don't bite, I just keep my head down and don't care. When I've got the ball at my feet I do wonder what goes through a defender's head when the Palace fans are singing 'He's just too good for you'.

"I'd never look at someone else and think he's better than me, unless it's Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi."

Zaha admits "it's 50-50" as to whether he will represent his adopted country long-term.

But as the match is only a friendly Zaha, who was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to England with his family aged four, would still be free to switch his allegiance to the country of his birth.

He has already had a telephone call from Elephants legend Didier Drogba urging him to do just that, but remains in two minds.

"I was born in the Ivory Coast but all I know is England," Zaha said. "It's 50-50 at the moment.

"Didier Drogba called me and I was shocked, to be honest. He's a humble guy. I've been with England Under-21s and now I will have to make a decision."

Comments (1)

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10:42am Wed 14 Nov 12

Sammy2sheds says...

he likes to write his own reviews....he can kiss my ring.
he likes to write his own reviews....he can kiss my ring. Sammy2sheds
  • Score: 0

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