Cote d’Ivoire and Crystal Palace star Zaha reveals inspiration

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Cote d’Ivoire and Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha has admitted taking inspiration from his kids.

Following his inability to tie down a regular place at Manchester United under Alex Fergusson, the 28-year-old was loaned twice to Crystal Palace and then made the move permanent when he signed a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee on February 2, 2015.

Since then, he has been a constant figure in the Palace squad with his impressive performances earning him the club’s Player of the Year prize on three occasions.

Zaha, who is known for her audacious displays of skill and finishing, accentuated the importance of family to his professional career – claiming his kids inspire him.

“What inspires me every day now is my kids,” he told Crystal Palace website.

“I say it to my missus all the time - that’s who I do it for. Every day they’re waking up with a smile.

“My six-month-old boy, the smile on his face when he sees me, it’s so nice when they don’t see you as a footballer - they just see you as a dad.

“He sees me like I’m a superhero. The smile he gives me and how happy he gets - it’s the best feeling ever.”

Reflecting on his development in football, the Ivorian superstar lauded the impact Roy Hodgson Zaha has had on him over the years and how his experience has contributed to his progress.

“He’s put into perspective how I’m seen at the club and by my teammates,” he continued.

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“A lot of what I do others look [up] to it, even though I may not think they do. He [Hodgson] has just helped me grow as a person in general and as a player just with those little conversations of wisdom.

“I feel like the thing that sets Palace aside from all the other clubs for me is how family-orientated the club is, how close they are to the fans. I feel like that’s what makes it so different.”

Having scored 10 goals from 27 Premier League outings in the 2020-21 campaign, Zaha would be hoping to help Hodgson’s men bounce back from their loss to Southampton versus Aston Villa on Sunday.