Published 05 November 2021 10 min read
England Men's Senior Team

If I could…with Luke Shaw

Written by:

Frank Smith

England and Manchester United defender Luke Shaw provides some fascinating insight as he answers a host of questions which begin with ‘If I could…’

England legends David Beckham and Ashley Cole, former US president Barrack Obama and the Queen all got a mention when Luke Shaw sat down with EnglandFootball.com for our new feature ‘If I could…’

If I could…play alongside one player from the history of world football, it would be…
This is very tough. I can’t say Ronaldo because I’m doing it! I loved Ashley Cole growing up but if I said I want to play with him then I wouldn’t be playing! If it wasn’t Ashley Cole, because I always idolised him, then I would say David Beckham because he is a legend for United and England. He is a massive role model to everyone involved in football. 

With Ashley Cole, I looked up to him. He was one of the best left backs in the world for a number of years, obviously played for England and I used to go to Chelsea games when I was younger and watch him and with me being a left back, I always looked up to him and wanted to be like him because if I could be anything like him then you know you are doing something right.

If I could…improve one part of my game today, it would be…
Something I want to do more of is adding more goals to my game. Even though I am a full back, coaches are always saying that I should be scoring more goals each season. I know my job is not to score goals but scoring once a year or whatever it is I score is not enough. Although I am a defender, full backs nowadays are attacking players as well so I would like to score more goals.

If I could…take one part of an England team-mates game, it would be…
Even though I am quick already, I probably would take Kyle Walker’s pace. He is so quick and people rarely get around him because players know they won’t get around him because of how quick he is. It is not worth trying. When he was playing against PSG, even players like Mbappe and Neymar know it is not worth trying.

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If I could…go back to one event in history, it would be…
God I would go back to the Euros straight away so we could win that tournament, let me tell you that! 

No, it probably would be going back to when England won the World Cup. Remembering the feelings from the World Cup in 2018 when this squad did so well and how much the fans loved it and I’m sure it was the same with the Euros this summer - but I was more involved with the Euros this summer personally so I didn’t see it on the outside as much. 

Experiencing those moments and realising how big it was for the country, I could only imagine what it was like when England did win the World Cup!

If I could…change one thing about the world, it would be… 
… probably racism and terrorism for me. Recently I have been watching things about the impact of them. I obviously knew how bad they were but seeing what happened with 9/11 and things like the attack in Paris, seeing how deeply horrible it was and how it impacted a whole nation.

And racism, there is never any room for that. It is totally unacceptable. There is no place for that in society and definitely that for the sport we are in. Something needs to change and that would be one so we can focus on trying to make a change. It is obviously something which happens around the world and especially in our sport and as a collective we can probably do more and help out in changing that for the better.

If I could…change one thing about football, it would be…
I think at the moment, doing something about the offsides. I don’t know if it is actually a rule where they say they have to play on before they put the flag up or not but you know they are offside and they leave it for another 20 seconds until the action finishes. It is wrong though because if the offside is clear they should call it because if someone carries on for another 20 seconds, you never know what could happen.

Luke Shaw is a huge Dwayne Johnson fan but someone else beat him to the role of playing the defender in his life story
Luke Shaw is a huge Dwayne Johnson fan but someone else beat him to the role of playing the defender in his life story

If I could…give my eight-year-old self one bit of advice, it would be…
… to enjoy it in every moment and have fun. In our game and in our job nowadays you have to be very serious but sometimes it takes away the fact we are doing what we love and it is always important to enjoy it, have fun and cherish the moments where we are doing what we love.

Of course it is a privilege and we are lucky to be in this situation and it is important we enjoy it and have fun.

Talking to my eight-year-old self, of course I could say listen to coaches, work hard and do everything right but I think for me the most important thing is enjoying it and having fun because when you get older and get to bigger clubs, it is serious, there is pressure and expectation. That comes with the job but the most important thing is to enjoy it, have fun and smile

If I could…only eat one item of food for the rest of my life, it would be…
...my girlfriend’s roast, it is so good. 

If I could…choose who would play me in the film of my life story, it would be…
I love Dwayne Johnson, I think he is unbelievable. He could possibly be picked. But I loved 24, the TV series. So I would have to say Kiefer Sutherland. It is the only series that I was really obsessed with. I sat through and watched so many episodes without moving and I followed him with what he was doing after that and I got into the series Designated Survivor and was a massive fan of that as well. I’m a big fan of him as an actor.

The Queen would be one of Luke Shaw's dinner guests. But who else would make the cut?
The Queen would be one of Luke Shaw's dinner guests. But who else would make the cut?

If I could…invite three guests around for dinner, it would be…
...Dwayne Johnson, the Rock. One would be Barack Obama. I’ve picked Kiefer Sutherland already so can’t pick him so I would go – it is pretty random – but maybe the Queen. Their jobs, what they do, I just find it so fascinating. To talk to them and see how they do their jobs would be sick. 

My girlfriend and I were watching the Crown recently and it has made me a bit more interested in the Royal family. I’m quite into conspiracy stuff and Obama and the Queen must know a lot of conspiracies so I would get them both in and find out what’s going on.

If I could…have a second dream job, I would be…
This one is not even that hard for me. I like special forces kind of stuff and things like MI6 so something like that or counter terrorism police. It all comes from what I watch. Something like that would really interest me and I would love to do counter terrorism police force or a secret agent or something like that. I love watching series like that and it would be pretty cool to try to stop big things from happening in the world. 

If I could…be one person for a day, it would be…
…my little son Reign so I could get into his head and find out why he is so cheeky and crazy. He is so funny. So him or someone massive like the Queen or someone like Obama when he was president just for a day