Telles reveals why he kisses & talks to the ball
Manchester United defender Alex Telles has explained exactly why he kisses the football before taking set-pieces, admitting he even talks to it for good measure.
The 28-year-old has made 19 appearances across all competitions so far and should make it 20 in our Europa League quarter-final second leg against Granada at Old Trafford, with Luke Shaw suspended.
In our exclusive interview to preview the European night, Telles revealed all about his set-piece habits: “I believe very much in positive vibes and positive energy.
“So, before I take a set-piece, I kiss the ball to pass on that positive energy,” says Alex. “My faith is very important to me too, which is also why I do this.
“Before the match, I also make a silent prayer to ask for God's blessing so I can perform well and to ask for protection during the game.
“But in terms of positive energy, I speak to the ball as well.
“I ask it to go in the right place, like the top corner!”
Alex points out his main priority is defending and helping the team win, but happily admits he is “emotional” about the thought of netting for the Reds.
“Yes, it's something that I would love to do,” he told us. “I'm quite emotional about it, I'm keen to get that first goal. It would be fantastic to get my first one at United.
“My first job here is to stop goals and defend. But you're right, at my previous clubs I have scored plenty of goals and I want to do that here. But the priority now is a win to get through to the semi-finals. If we can do that, and I can get on the scoresheet, then it will be a great moment.”
“Definitely, it's something that I practise and work on all the time. It's one of my main qualities. But you're right to say there is some tough competition in that area with Bruno and Luke.
“But it's something that the boss asks me to do, so if I can get the ball, I will do. So with the work I'm doing in training, I'm ready to take a free-kick when needed. Hopefully I can get a chance soon to put in a dangerous cross or a shot on target. Maybe even against Granada.”