Creative Soccer Culture

Mason Greenwood Talks Breaking Through, Teammates & FIFA 20

Manchester United fans have every right to be excited about Mason Greenwood. Thirteen of his eighteen years on this planet have been spent at the club, progressing through the youth teams before stepping into the bright spotlights of Old Trafford, made brighter by his exciting performances on one of football's most daunting stages. As we tick into a new decade Greenwood has been unveiled as an EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Future Star, and sits in front of us as the club's youngest ever goalscorer in Europe

It takes a special type of character to make first team appearances in the Premier League and Europe at 18 years old, especially at one of world football's most famous and followed clubs. Of course, the ability has to be there in equal measure, but going from playing in front of a couple of hundred to 75,000 is a colossal jump in any profession. Playing in an environment where your every touch is analysed by the whole world is something that can see even the most talented athlete freeze. Speak to Mason Greenwood and it becomes instantly obvious why he's flourishing on football's main stage, he's as chilled as they come off the pitch and as focused and driven on it.


Mason, it’s been a busy couple of years for you. Your first pre-season tour was in 2018 in the US. What can you remember about that and in what ways did that feel different to going away with the youth team for example?

It was a different level really. The crowds there were all a lot bigger than what I was used to playing in front of, and there were a lot of fans from all around the world, so it was a good experience. To go away with strikers such as Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku was the best way to learn, just seeing how they worked as top strikers and top finishers was great for me. They all looked after me and helped me on and off the pitch.

You signed your first pro contract a few months after that tour, did the tour feel almost like a bit of a trial, a chance to impress and to earn it?

No, it was all natural really. I just took my time with it and concentrated, I knew what I had to do and I just worked hard to make sure whatever situation I was in I was doing the right things. I’ve signed my pro contract now but the hardest work is still to come.

You made your competitive debut away at PSG. What was going through your head when the manager told you to get ready because you were coming on?

Obviously I was excited, but I kept my head and just concentrated on what I had to do. The manager trusted me to come on the pitch in a Champions League match and I just wanted to replay that faith. It was my debut, but I approached the game like I would be getting on the pitch, you have to have that mindset so that you’re ready when it does happen.

When you were back on the plane did you feel like that was it, you’d made your debut now and no one can take it away from you?

It was obviously a good feeling, and I had messages from my family and friends congratulating me because it was a massive win so it was an extra special game to make my debut in, so yeah I was pleased but to be honest the main feeling I had was just that I wanted to carry on and make my next appearance!

You’ve continued scoring this season. Do you feel like a different player this season compared to last season?

It’s been good to play in some massive league and cup games with the first team, but I’m still doing the same things that I was doing in the Under 23s and youth teams. I think I have to trust the things that have got me to where I am and continue to try to do them in the first team.


Marcus Rashford has had quite a similar career path to you. Do you see him as not only your friend, but also as a role model as well?

Yeah, definitely. He’s been in the academy and come through the ranks and I feel like I’m following in his footsteps. He’s a few years older than me but I can definitely take a lot of inspiration from what he has achieved so far. I’ve known him for a long time so I’ve seen how well he has done and how he has progressed as a player, so there’s lots to learn from being around him.

Last season you broke through, did this summer feel a little different, coming into what could be your biggest season to date?

I wouldn’t say it felt different because I was just used to playing football for the youth team and the 23s really, so to me it was just the same but on a bigger stage. So I was still concentrating on staying focused, as I am everyday.

People have said you’re both footed, is that true?

Yeah, I’m comfortable using both feet.

So if you took a penalty what foot would you use?

I use my right for my penalties.

Why’s that?

I used to take penalties left footed, but now I take them with my right because when I was younger I missed one against City with my left foot.

Do you pay much attention to what’s said in the media at all?

No, it just goes by me really. I just concentrate on the pitch. I know what I have to do out there and I work hard to do it. I don’t really need to know about stories. Yeah, it’s good to hear nice things said about you but it only means something when it comes from the people who matter.

What about your Instagram account? Your following has rocketed over the past year…

Yeah, I’m not big into social media but it is a great way to interact with the fans, and the fans are really positive on my accounts, which is really nice to see.


You’ve been praised a lot for your pace – your family has got a history in athletics. What events were you good at at school?

I just used to play football, a bit of athletics, rugby. All kinds of sports really. I was always good at the track events at school.

If you could choose a 4x100 sprint team with your teammates, who would be in it?

That’s hard because we’ve got some really fast players. I’ve got to have Marcus Rashford on the last bit, Brandon Williams too, he’s rapid, Anthony Martial, and probably Diogo Dalot, because he’s very fast as well.

You’ve left yourself and Daniel James out then?

Oh yeah… can it be 6x100m?

You’re into your clothes and fashion. At what age did you begin to develop that interest?

I’ve had a sponsorship with Nike since I was pretty young and wear their clothing a lot, but now since I’ve been around the first team I wear a different style of clothing when we go out for meals and things.

Is there anyone that influences what you wear?

Not really to be honest, I just choose what I like. Everyone has their own styles at the club because of all the different nationalities and cultures so it’s good to notice new things that they might work into their look, but I just try to be myself really. Not overthink it too much.

In regards to FIFA, do you remember the first time you were ever on one of the games?

This is the first year I’ve been on it! I wasn’t on it last year, so I was really excited to be on it this year. I’ve played it for as long as I can remember so to actually be on the game and play as myself is incredible. It’s big moment I think, when you’re on FIFA for the first time, so I’ll be keeping this copy.

Happy with your ratings?

Yeah I’m happy with my ratings and I was really happy to be named a FIFA 20 Future Star. I’m obviously buzzing to be in that and to get up to 90! Gives me a proper reason to start myself when I play with my Ultimate Team!

Who are some of the best players that you’ve played against?

I’m gonna say I’m pretty good to be honest. Do you know what? Everyone’s pretty good to be fair at the club. I don’t think we have a best player. Everyone’s at a similar level, so it gets competitive with everyone trying to get in each other’s heads to force each other into mistakes. Same as the England set ups too, there’s some seriously good players in there but everyone is at a high level because of how often we play it!


Mason Greenwood was speaking as he was announced as an EA SPORTS FIFA 20 Future Star, a squad featuring football’s brightest prospects. The squad is made up of players who are 23 or under and projects their future ratings, reflecting their potential to become the best in the world. Players are available in packs now until Friday 14th February. To find out more, head to:

Photography by Ross Cooke for SoccerBible.


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