Published 08 September 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team

'If I could...' with Jesse Lingard

Written by:

Frank Smith

In the first of a new series, England and Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard answers a host of questions which begin with ‘If I could…’

From discussing why he would love to have dinner with Elon Musk to who should play his life story, to what part of an England team-mate’s game he would like to steal and what he would want to change about the world: Three Lions attacker Jesse Lingard was the first to sit down with EnglandFootball.com to take part in our new series ‘If I could…’

If I could…play alongside one player from the history of world football, it would be…
Ronaldinho. And Iniesta. They were my two growing up that I used to watch quite frequently. Ronaldinho was an unbelievable player and it was the same with Iniesta. I always used to watch the way Iniesta carried the ball and the way he got into little pockets of space. So I would have to say those two, 100 per cent.

If I could…improve one part of my game today, it would be…
Heading! Getting in the box and scoring headers. I am not the biggest but I used to score quite a few headers when I was younger.

If I could…take one part of an England team-mates game, it would be…
I’d probably say Raheem’s pace. In the Euros, the way he was stopping the ball and then going, stop-start, he was one of the players of the tournament. So I would say Raz’s pace.

Jesse Lingard would love to have Raheem Sterling's ability to get past players with his pace
Jesse Lingard would love to have Raheem Sterling's ability to get past players with his pace

If I could…go back to one moment in my life, it would be…
From a personal point of view, I would probably say the FA Cup Final when I scored in 2016. It was a massive moment for the club and a massive moment for me, to win a trophy in the way we did, where we had a man sent off and we had to go to the death to win the game. So to score the winner was an amazing feeling. So to relive that moment would be nice.

If I could…go back to one event in history, it would be…
I would probably say a World Cup. I would have liked to have been at the World Cup where Ronaldinho scored that free-kick against David Seaman. Or when Zinedine Zidane headbutted Marco Materazzi. One of those rare moments.

If I could…change one thing about the world, it would be… 
That is a tough one, you know. There are so many things you would want to change. Obviously racism is a big one for me. I’d want to make sure everyone has food on the table so they don’t go hungry, that is a big thing obviously. Making sure people have food and water is obviously important. It is hard because there are so many though.

Racism is a main one for me [personally]. Everyone is sick and tired of it and we are obviously trying to make a statement by taking the knee and we want to teach the youth that are coming through and our kids what it is all about and I think it needs to be drilled into them at a young age, maybe at school, by the family members who are around, to really reiterate what is good and what is bad. For some reason I think racism is always going to be there but to make a stand like we are doing, we need to carry that on.

If I could…change one thing about football, it would be…
Warm-ups! Nah, everything in football is all good I think. VAR sometimes leads to some questionable decisions but there are so many rules that change throughout the course of the season and into the next season there will be some more rules. But everything else apart from that is all good. 

If I could…give my eight-year-old self one bit of advice, it would be…
Believe in yourself and stay true to yourself, no matter what you go through. Always try to be positive and have that self-belief and you can be what you want to be.

If I could…speak to that child who is considering joining their local team but isn’t sure, I would tell them…
Go for it! Try different things. I personally like to do different things, try to be different and once you put your heart into it you just have to go for it. That has always been the case with me. I have always loved football since I was a kid. So any child thinking about getting into football, go for it 100 per cent.

If I could…only eat one item of food for the rest of my life, it would be…
It has to be chicken! Any chicken: jerk chicken, Nando’s chicken, any chicken!

If I could…chose who would play me in the film of my life story, it would be…
I would probably say either Will Smith or Kevin Hart. Obviously Kevin Hart is funny and a comedian and I love to have a laugh and a joke. And obviously Will Smith is a legend and is in so many great films that I am fond of and I think he could play me pretty well.

20 Apr 2021 9:38

Roommates Part 2 | Lingard and Rashford


Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard return for a second episode of Roommates. Who will win this time?

If I could…invite three guests around for dinner, it would be…
Elon Musk. 100 per cent Elon Musk. I need to know what this guy is thinking! I have to know. I want to have a conversation with these kinds of people. So Elon Musk, Kevin Hart 100 per cent and 100 per cent Michael Jackson. 100 million per cent Michael Jackson. I have always loved him since I was a kid, I used to watch all his videos and copy his dance moves. He is such an icon to everyone, with the concerts and you would see on YouTube how people would be fainting and everything. It is mad how one person could impact so many people.

If I could…have a second dream job, I would be…
I don’t mind a bit of F1. I don’t know how I would handle how fast they go but it seems like a very interesting job so I wouldn’t mind doing that.

If I could…be one person for a day, it would be…
Ronaldo. Cristiano. I just want to see his day-to-day life. I want to see what he eats, what he drinks, the way he trains. I would love to get an insight into that.