First and Last - Manuel Lanzini

West Ham United's Argentine playmaker lifts the lid on his heroes, his memories, who makes him laugh and much more besides!
As West Ham United continue the final season at the Boleyn Ground, we’ve asked the players for some memorable firsts and lasts from their careers and lives. Manuel Lanzini goes under the spotlight…


What was the first football trophy you won?
The first major trophy I won was the 2012 Carioca – the State Championship of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil – when I was playing for Fluminense.

Can you remember your first goal in professional football?
Of course, everyone remembers their first goal! It was during my debut for Fluminense against Sao Paolo so it was a very important goal! It came in September 2011 and I latched onto a loose ball inside the box and smashed it into the top right-hand corner!

Who was your first footballing hero?
Pablo Aimar, he was and still is a huge hero for me. He was an Argentina international attacking midfielder who came through at River Plate like me, then went on to play for Valencia and Benfica in Europe.

What was the first nickname you were given in football?
It’s always been ‘Manu’, ever since I was a small boy.

What your first position when you started playing football?
I’ve always been an attacker, sometimes I played as a striker, but usually on the wings. I like to have the ball and be the playmaker.

What was the last sporting event you paid to watch?
Just last week I went to watch Barcelona play Arsenal at the Emirates, it was a fantastic match.

What was the last concert you went to?
I recently went to see David Gilmour, who was a member of Pink Floyd, play a show at Camden.

Who is the last player you’d take fashion advice from?
I would’ve said Mauro Zarate, some of his stuff was awful. But of the players here now, I think Enner Valencia, he’s not very fashionable!

Whose was the last shirt you collected after a game?
My good friend Ramiro Funes Mori at Everton, we have known each other for a long time as we played together at River Plate. I haven’t played against him but I also swapped a shirt with Leo Messi recently.

When did you last laugh on the pitch and what was the reason?
During training Cheikhou Kouyate always makes me laugh, he’s crazy! It’s slightly different, but some of the things Neymar can do on the pitch also makes me laugh, he’s that good.