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Thursday June 20, 2024

Prowse 'amazed' by Guardiola's praise as he nears Beckham's free-kick record

Pep Guardiola considers Ward-Prowse among "best free kickers of this century" with his 17 free-kick Premier League goals

By Web Desk
December 02, 2023
West Ham United´s English midfielder James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the London Stadium, in London on September 16, 2023. — AFP
West Ham United´s English midfielder James Ward-Prowse celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the London Stadium, in London on September 16, 2023. — AFP

English midfielder James Ward-Prowse has said that he is "amazed" by Manchester City bigwig Pep Guardiola's remarks calling him one of the best free-kick takers this century as he closes in on David Beckham's free-kick record.

"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!" the West Ham star said while speaking on TNT Sports' Sign Up - Into Football.

Terming the experience as "truly special" Ward-Prowse expressed hope that he will soon bag Beckham's 18-goal free-kick record in the Premier League.

Ward-Prowse, who made his Saints debut as a 16-year-old in an EFL Cup tie against Crystal Palace in October 2011, has scored 17 goals on free-kicks in the Premier League — one less than Beckham.

Recalling the English star as an "inspiration", Ward-Prowse said that he pretended to be like the Inter Miami owner while growing up and even copied his hairstyles throughout the years.

However, he added, that it is in fact "scary" to be spoken with the likes of Beckham, eurosports reported.

Commenting on his free-kick prowess, he said that he hasn't perfected the skill yet highlighting that one can perfect a particular skill by working hard.

It is pertinent to mention that Ward-Prowse — who joined Southampton at the age of eight and made 410 senior appearances while also being the captain of the club — signed with West Ham after inking a four-year contract in August this year.