Wilfried Zaha says playing in the park made him the player he is today

So why has Palace star Zaha attracted the likes of United, Arsenal and Spurs It all comes from kick-abouts at the park

Sam Cunningham


15:55 GMT, 1 January 2013



09:11 GMT, 2 January 2013

Wilfried Zaha has put his silky skills down to playing in the park with his mates.

The tricky winger has beaten Championship players for fun with the ball at his feet this season and has attracted interest from the best clubs in the country.

Zaha joined Crystal Palace's academy as an 11-year-old and played more than 100 matches for the youth teams before getting into the first team.

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Zaha has quickly worked his way to being the Championship's most wanted

Skinned: Zaha has quickly become the Championship's most wanted player

But the 20-year-old puts his vast array of tricks and skills to playing football at any opportunity he could as a youngster.

He said: 'When it comes to playing, to dribbling, I don't know, it just happens. I can't really explain how I do things.

'As I play, I just do tricks and they just pay off, I don't really think too much about what I'm going to do.

'That comes from practising with my family and kick-abouts in the park and that's perfected my skills. Any chance I get to play football I will take.

'Before, when I was younger, any chance to play football I would be there doing it. If anyone talked about playing I'd always be down to have a kick-about. All I want to do is play.'

Zaha has started all but two league games for Palace this season

Zaha has started all but two league games for Palace this season

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been monitoring Zaha but the club are holding out for a bid in the region of 20million.

And they are helped by the fact he has a five-year contract and is keen to get promoted with the team he has been at all his life.

He added: 'It'd be a great feeling to get promoted with Palace because I have been with the club for a long time, I've been with them through the hard times when we've nearly been relegated so actually making it to the Premier League could be great.

'Going through all the struggles, to be able to achieve something with the side would be a great achievement for us and for me.'