Find out about Football Heroes!
24th Jun 18

Find out about Football Heroes!

Discover how some of the best players helped their teams to qualify for the World Cup in the latest book in the Football Heroes series - Road to the World Cup!

Follow Ronaldo, Messi, Pogba, Neymar Jr, Neuer and Kane as they help their teams to victory and to qualification for a place in the approaching games!

Road to the World Cup is part of the FOOTBALL HEROES series by MATT OLDFIELD, and it's a brilliant way to get up to speed on our greatest football heroes!

Author and football expert MATT OLDFIELD to tells us more about ROAD TO THE WORLD CUP (ULTIMATE FOOTBALL HEROES)!

Q: What were your footballing skills like when you were a child?

A: I started playing football when I was five and I've been playing ever since. I'm a defender with an eye for a pass - think Mats Hummels and then subtract by 1000. My brother, Tom, is the star footballer in the family. Thankfully, my dream was always to be an author instead!

Q: What is your favourite footballing moment, ever?

A: I'm a Southampton fan, so my favourite footballing moment would be the final match at our old stadium, The Dell, in 2001. What a match it was! Saints legend Matt Le Tissier scored an amazing late volley as we beat Arsenal 3-2. We all ran on to the pitch afterwards! I try to go to as many games as possible, but I now live in London.

Q: How did you start writing about football and especially the Football Heroes series?

A: Football was what I always wanted to write about. When I visit schools, I always tell kids to write about whatever interests them. It really helps to have knowledge and, most importantly, passion. I started out helping my elder brother Tom with his football biographies for adults and then we moved over to children's books, which is way more fun!

Q: How do you decide which footballers to cover for Football Heroes? Do you have a favourite in the series?

A: We always want to write about the biggest, most exciting superstars in the game, so we keep a close eye on kids' football magazines and websites. Who are they most excited about?

My favourite book would have to be Gareth Bale because it was the first in the series. I worked extra hard on it and it was a very proud moment when the book was published. Plus, as a Saints fan, I love Bale!

Q: Why did you decide on the latest book, Road to the World Cup, and which footballers to include?

A: We love the World Cup and we wanted to build up the excitement before the tournament starts. Hopefully, Road to the World Cup sets things up nicely for the main event.

We focused on who we thought would be the biggest stars - Ronaldo, Neymar, Messi, Kane, Neuer, Pogba - but also on the countries that we thought might win it - Portugal, Brazil, Argentina, England, Germany and France.

Q: Although there is a lot about football and footballing heroes in these books, there is also a lot about following your passion. What message would you like your readers to take from these books?

A: Absolutely, yes, the positive messages are really important to us. We try to write about each hero's setbacks, as well as their successes. Hopefully, the books teach some valuable lessons about resilience, determination, sportsmanship and focus.

Q: If you could meet any of the footballers you have written about, who would it be?

A: We haven't met any of the footballers in the series. Yet! It's a really tough choice but I think I'd go for either Gareth Bale or Ryan Giggs. Actually, maybe I could meet them both at a Wales training session!

Q: Where will you be watching the World Cup and are there any players in particular that you'll be following?

A: I'll be watching the World Cup all over the place! I'm trying to visit as many UK schools as possible during the tournament, but I'll try to find time to watch every game if I can.

As a Southampton fan, I'll be looking out for Ryan Bertrand (England), Maya Yoshida (Japan), Jan Bednarek (Poland), Cedric Soares (Portugal) and Dusan Tadic (Serbia).

Q: Where do you do your writing and what are you writing now?

A: I do most of my writing at my desk at home, but I can't sit there all day, every day. I have to get out, so I usually spend a couple of hours at a local coffee shop or library. I'm currently working on two new books for the next Premier League season - Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne.

Q: What is your favourite escape from your desk?

A: If I'm feeling stuck, I go out running. I find it really helps to clear the head and shake up my thoughts.

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