Must-read fans' Q&A: Mason Greenwood
Mason Greenwood took time out from his pre-season exertions to answer a series of fans' questions in the latest of our ongoing series.
Thousands of supporters from all over the world sent in topics for the teenager to address and he did not disappoint as he provided fresh insight into his life on and off the pitch.
In a wide-ranging interview that features the long-standing Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo debate, comparisons to Robin van Persie, his top skill, favourite TV shows and rappers, his best friends in football, the queue for free-kick duties and his personal ambitions, this is an essential opportunity to get to know Mason better.
So check it out via the exclusive video below, or read our full transcript...
“That’s a good question, Tehiliah. My first memory is just kicking around balloons, you know those inflatable balloons, around the house and stuff like that. It really got me into it. To be honest, I’d just kick anything I could get my hands on really. Obviously, when I was at a young age, my dad used to take me to the parks, like he does, and play football and enjoy football. So that’s probably one of my first memories.”
Louie W (UK): Hi Mason, as a Bradford lad myself, you’re an inspiration to me. How did you find it growing up in Bradford?
“Hi Louie. It was fantastic and it was fun, to be honest. I went to a good primary school and a good high school over there. It was fun and enjoyable. Times were tough sometimes but you’ve just got to grind through it. But it was good. It’s a nice area to be in and I am proud I am from there.”
Hector U (Mexico): Mason, What has been the TV series or movie that you have repeated the most?
“That’s a good question – either Rick and Morty, I love Rick and Morty, and it’s got to be Prison Break and Money Heist. I always go back and watch random episodes of those, they’re all really good.”
“I’ve got quite a few of them, to be honest with you. I put everything on my right foot first and then my left foot. I do that all the time. I’ve just got a few little things like I will tie my laces where my shorts are, just before kick-off starts, and I will pull my socks up. I’ve got lots of little things but I’ll be here all day if you wanted to talk about them all!”
Palash D (India): Whom do you look up to most in the current group at United?
“It’s a good question, obviously you’ve got Edi who has come in and is a great striker and a great person to be around and stuff like that. I’ve also got two others – Juan [Mata] and Nemanja [Matic] – as their work ethic and leadership in the group is amazing. Juan has been here many years and the same as Nemanja. They are good role models for all the young lads like me coming into the first team.”
“It’s a great and an iconic number at Manchester United – that’s one of the reasons why I picked it. I’m so proud to wear the shirt. Obviously, you’ve got so many players down the line, like Ryan Giggs who has worn it for many years, and it’s a big ask to wear that shirt, following in the footsteps. It’s a challenge I’ll take on and hopefully do my best.”
Admir M (Bosnia): What do your tattoos mean?
“Hi Admir, I’ve just got a lion on one side and a wolf on the other side. I just really liked them so I just went with the flow really [laughs]. I had a look online for a few hours and picked the ones I liked. There’s no meaningful ones yet but hopefully, further down the line, I will have some.”
Philip L (Norway): Who’s the toughest opponent you’ve played against?
“Hi Philip, that’s a good question. I’ve probably got to say, it might be a surprising one but do you know [Joe] Bryan, the one for Fulham? He allowed me no space, no time on the ball, when we played them home and away. It was one of my most difficult games for us. He’s one you probably wouldn’t think I’d say his name but he was getting tight to me and not giving me much space. He was a good defender and he was probably my toughest challenge.”
Andrew B (UK): Dear Mason, do you have any other hobbies other than football?
“Andrew, I’ve got many hobbies. I like playing video games, as all young boys do, don’t they? I play a lot of Call of Duty with my friends in my spare time. It’s in my downtime after I’ve worked hard at training, so I make sure I get on my gaming for a little bit.”
Jamie S (UK): What music do you listen to before a big game and why?
“Hi Jamie, I listen to all sorts of music, to be honest with you. I listen to a lot of rap music. It gets me in the mood. I really like to relax and stuff. We’ve obviously got a DJ, I think Bruno is on it sometimes, it interchanges. I sometimes listen to their music. It’s nice and chilled and relaxed before a game to get you in the mood.”
Adam M (UK) What sort of stuff does Bruno play?
“It’s a range, all sorts. UK songs, foreign songs, Portuguese songs. You name it, it’s probably on there. It’s a nice range and a nice mix and keeps all the lads ready for the game, to be honest with you.”
Edward O (Australia): Do you have a favourite rapper?
“Yeah. Probably Gunna is one of my favourites, he’s up there in America doing his thing and Polo G’s music is very good too.”
Kiera P (UK): Hi Mason! I'm a young player myself and was wondering how you broke through the Academy as well as you did. Do you have any tips for people who are planning to be like you?
“Hi Kiera, good question as well. I just worked hard really, all the extra things the coaches say make a difference. All those little extra sessions, even when you’re at home, practising in the garden and going out to the park or astroturfs around the UK. You’ve got to keep practising and working hard. When times are tough, push through that little barrier and you’ll realise you’ve got more in yourself. I wish you all the good luck and all the best.”
Maxwell O (UK): What's the best footballing advice you've received from coaches, right from the Academy to now?
“Hi Maxwell, that’s a good question as well. Just work hard and always concentrate that’s the main thing, really. If you switch off, those little moments, those small moments, can be key and lead to big cracks down the line. Carry on working hard and be 100 per cent concentrated. If you love what you’re doing, I am sure you will reach somewhere.”
Peter A (USA): Hey Mason, if you are asked to select between Messi and CR7, who is the best player from your point of view?
“Good question, Peter. For me, it’s always got to be Messi. For me, he’s just on another planet. Ronaldo is obviously amazing, a physical, great athletic footballer. But to do what Messi does at his size, what he’s done for Barcelona and winning that trophy for Argentina, he is just on another level.”
Fred H (Ireland): Hi Mason! As a kid what was your favourite skill to practise and how would you try to perfect it?
“Hi Fred, my favourite skill move was the stepover and I still use it to this day. It’s my favourite skill move. I used to watch the Brazilian Ronaldo as he would always pull one out on the goalkeepers and defenders. I used to practice at the parks and stuff and used to do it in training sessions, then that would lead on to games. And, now, it’s just stuck with me, it’s a little skill move that I practice.”
Karl D (Ireland): Name the three funniest players at Manchester United.
“Oof, three of the funniest players, phew. Luke Shaw cracks me up sometimes. Dean Henderson. That’s two. A third one? I have to say Jimmy Garner. He’s one of my best mates at United and any jokes he has makes me laugh. Those three.”
Dzaki M (Indonesia): Hello Mason, who your best friend in football and at United?
“My best friend? I’ve got a few but probably Jimmy. Teden [Mengi] is in there, Brandon [Williams] but probably James. We’ve been together since a young age, seven or eight years old, all through the Academy years. Now he’s come back after a good loan to United. It’s nice to see his face again and nice to be training with him.”
“That’s a good question as well, Charlie. Any celebrity in the world? Oof! For me, it’s got to be Usain Bolt. I used to love my athletics when I was younger. I used to love watching it with my parents and two sisters. He is a good inspiration, a world leader in what he used to do, it’s probably him.”
Kevin H (USA): What would you say is your guilty pleasure – maybe a TV show or a dodgy song?
“I’ve got a few songs. I don’t know the names of them but a few classic old songs. I can’t remember the name of them, but a few Oasis songs maybe. I don’t listen to them much but sometimes they might come on! But not much!”
Abhishek B (India): Hello Mason, how do you see your game developing over the course of this season?
“I just see it as I’ve got to work hard and do what I can to get into the team. Obviously, we’ve got a new signing coming in and a lot more forwards in the squad. It’s about fighting for my position and hopefully I can take my chances and score more goals this season, be the best I can be and show what I can at United.”
Pierre F (France): What are your personal goals for your entire career? And what are you going to set up to achieve them?
“Hi Pierre, it’s a good question. Probably just win a trophy at United. I’ve not won one yet. I’ve not won one in a while so probably the main goal really is not an independent goal, just a team thing. I’d love to win a trophy. I’d rather win a trophy and be successful than score millions of goals. At the end of the day, it’s a team game isn’t it? The trophies are the things that matter in the end.”
Keshav M (Mauritius): What do you make of the comparisons with Robin van Persie and what aspects of his game would you like to add to yours?
“Hi Keshav. That’s a great question. It’s nice if people think I play like him and shoot like him a little bit. For an all-time great like him, it’s nice to have that little thing that people say. I used to watch him at United and obviously at Arsenal as well. He’s a good quality striker. I’ve watched a lot of football games and a lot of Premier League strikers and obviously pick up a few things and watch a few clips. It’s a nice little comparison.”
George L (Kenya): Hi Mason, I would like to ask which is your stronger foot and has this changed over the years?
“Good question – I’d probably say my left. It used to be my right when I was younger. I used to use both when I was younger but used to use my right foot quite a bit more. Unfortunately, I got injured in a game in the Academy and was out for six or seven months. When I was going back, I was not as strong as on the other foot and now think my left foot is a bit stronger, cutting in from the right.”
Emma M (UK): If you could ask an ex-player any questions to help you develop, what would you ask and to who?
“Hi Emma. The question I’d probably go to with is Wayne Rooney. He’s done it all and is the leading scorer. I’d probably just ask him like not how he played because you can watch how he played, but any tips of how you can get in between defenders and how you can anticipate the game a bit more. Obviously, he scored hundreds and hundreds of goals for United. That would be the little question I would ask him.”
Faiz A (Indonesia): Who is the best celebration-maker in the club?
“Hi Faiz, I’d probably say Paul Pogba. He’s got a little bit of a dance move, hasn’t he? Him or Bruno, he’s got a good celebration. Obviously, Pogba has got a few little dance moves so it’s probably him.”
Red Devil (USA): Which superhero do you identify most with?
“I like watching a lot of DC and Marvel superheroes. I like, I think it’s Black Panther, I might be wrong but I like that superhero movie. It’s a good movie. Him or Spiderman as well.”
Abdul S (Singapore): What was your nickname during your school days?
“Yeah, they used to call me Greeny from my last name Greenwood, at primary and high school. It’s faded away a little bit now but that’s what they used to call me.”
Jack M (Australia): What’s your favourite goal you have scored in the Academy and first team?
"Good question as well but it’s my first-ever goal for United’s first team against Astana. It was such a big moment for me. There was a nice one as well against Watford. I like that one as well, so probably one of those two.”
Christopher K (Zambia): Which position is your favourite?
“Hi Chris. I don’t have a favourite, to be honest. If I’m asked to play up front or wide left, or wherever it is, I’m just happy to do a job for the team. I don’t mind where I play as long as I’m playing really and scoring goals.”
“Hi Adrian. I’ve got a few. If you know AA9Skills and TwoSynch. Those are good. Korean Savage plays a lot of Call of Duty, probably them.”
Paranjaya N (Indonesia): When are you going to take free-kicks for the senior side? The free-kicks at Academy level were dynamite!
“[Laughs] You have to ask Bruno that question! I’m not in charge, to be honest with you! I’m a little bit down the list after Bruno, Juan, Fred and Alex. You’d probably have to ask them first!”
“That’s a good one, probably Optimus Prime in Transformers. It’s a good movie and I used to watch all of them when I was younger. He was a bit of a leader so probably him.”
Mahad P (UK): Who has the best drip in the squad?
“Phew, there are a few contestants but Mr Tahith Chong himself. He’s got to be out there to be honest with you. He knows he’s got a bit as well. Probably him.”
“Like I’ve said, the team goals I’ve already answered that one as it’s just about winning a trophy. I don’t have any individual goals, I don’t really like to think about it. I just try to go out there and feel free, impress myself and score goals. If I’m scoring goals and helping the team out, then I’m happy.”