Victor Lindelof with Sam Homewood and David May

Five things we learned from Lindelof's UTD Podcast

Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof recently sat down with Sam Homewood and David May, as part of our UTD Podcast series.

The laidback Swedish defender, nicknamed ‘the Iceman’ by Reds supporters, discussed a range of topics, from Benfica and becoming a father to signing for the Reds and social media.

Here are five things we found out from listening to Victor’s episode, which you can listen to on Deezer and your favourite streaming services, right now...

HE COULD HAVE PLAYED ANOTHER SPORT

Lindelof’s younger brother Alexander is a professional ice hockey player back in Sweden, but you may not know that Victor himself could have also found himself out on the rink if things had gone differently. Fortunately for us, he opted for football when hometown club Vasteras SK came calling.

“I still miss it. It’s a very fun sport. I grew up playing a lot of ice hockey,” he recalls. “In Sweden, we played ice hockey in winter and then football when the spring came. It was a hard choice for me to do, but I felt like football was always a bit closer to my heart than ice hockey.”

Victor Lindelof playing for Benfica
Lindelof was initially fielded at full-back, or in midfield, for Benfica.

HE WASN’T ALWAYS A CENTRE-BACK

Victor transferred to Portuguese giants Benfica in December 2011, as a highly-rated 17-year-old. At the time, he played full-back, or even defensive midfielder – it was only after he’d arrived at the Estadio da Luz that he made the transition to the centre of defence, where he’s played for the vast majority of his 93 United appearances to date.

“When I talk about Benfica I want to thank them for everything they did for me,” Victor adds. I came there as a young player and they helped me become the player I am today. In the second or third season we had an injury and my coach asked me if I could play centre-back. I did, I liked it and I’ve played centre-back ever since!”

HOW HE GOT HIS SQUAD NUMBER

Lindelof wears the number two shirt at United, which has usually been reserved for right-backs over the years. Famous incumbents include Gary Neville, Paul Parker and Tony Dunne, but Victor reveals opting for the squad number wasn’t a big deal for him.

“[United’s then-manager Jose] Mourinho called me and said number two is free if you want it. I said it’s a big number but yeah I can take it. Numbers for me I don’t really think about it, but I said yeah I can take number two, it’s fine.”

HOW HE DEALS WITH PRESSURE AND FAME

Victor spent almost six years at Benfica, historically Portugal’s biggest club. He admits the move to Old Trafford in 2017 was another step up entirely in terms of expectations, but he has his own way of dealing with the demands of life at the Theatre of Dreams.

“It’s always going to be pressure at this club. I think everyone knows that. You always want to win things and you always want to perform. You just have to find a way to deal with it. I’m a very laidback guy, outside of football I just focus on the things that are important to me: my son, my family and friends. It doesn’t really bother me and usually I just try to stay away from the spotlight as much as I can.”

UTD Podcast: Lindelof loves the big gamesVideo

HE DOES A LOT OF WORK FOR CHARITY

Lindelof and his wife Maja are known for their charitable endeavours, and in December raised over £200,000 for victims of sexual abuse in their native Sweden. The 25-year-old said he likes to use his public profile to help give something back to the community.

“It’s such an easy thing for me to do as well. It’s easier for me to reach out to more people than it is for a guy that doesn’t play football, for example. That’s why I like to use my platform to raise awareness and try to raise as much money as possible,” Victor explained.

You can listen to Victor Lindelof’s UTD Podcast on Deezer and all your favourite podcast platforms now.

What we've learned from the podcast: