Emerson Royal reveals what Dani Alves told him before completing Tottenham Hotspur switch
The 22-year-old joined Spurs from Barcelona in a deal worth £22.5million on the summer transfer window deadline day. He has since made three appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and is seen as a player for the future.
The Premier League is a tough taskmaster and Emerson found it the hard way against Crystal Palace on his debut. Eagles winger Wilfried Zaha gave him a torrid time on his initiation to English football.
Thankfully Emerson is slowly yet steadily adapting to life in London. He will get his first taste of North London derby action when Spurs face Arsenal on Sunday. It will not be a match for the faint-hearted.
Emerson will be fine as long as he channels in the advice of Samba legend Dani Alves, the player the 22-year-old looks up to. Alves is one of the finest full-backs to play the game and thrived in the biggest of stages. He came into touch with the former Barcelona star in the build-up to the summer’s Copa America.
“I had the opportunity of meeting him in the build-up to the Copa America [before signing for Spurs] but then he wasn’t selected in the final squad. He is a contemporary idol for me.”
The Spurs star reveals that Alves was complimentary of his ability as a footballer and reminded him of the potential he possesses.
“When he spoke to me, he told me I had a lot of potential and he had many nice words to say about me as a person.”
While it may have been a rather small conversation, it has done enough to fire up Emerson. After all, how often does one get praise from their heroes, in this case, one of the greatest full-backs ever.
“When you’re recognised in this way by someone who is a legend in the game, it makes you want to succeed even more.”
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Alves has won an incredible 43 trophies in his career. He is the second most successful defender of all time in European competitions, hopefully, something Emerson will look to emulate.