The young Irish goalkeeper that became an online star has said all the attention has made him feel ‘like a superstar’.
Nathan Fanagan caught the eye of legendary goalkeepers such as Peter Schmeichel and David de Gea this week when a video of him practicing on his own whilst on lockdown went viral.
The Dublin lad was praised by several past and present football stars who saw him working on his impressive drill.
Nathan stood at one side of his goal, kicked the ball against the wall and then dived across his goal to try and make the save.
He then repeated from the other side of his goal.
The video was viewed a massive 8 million times and plenty of stars were quick to praise the young man for continuing to work hard in this difficult time.
Leeds United fan Nathan spoke to the Irish Sun about his newfound fame.
He said: “It’s been very different, I have been doing so many interviews.
“It is crazy, it has gone from playing in my back garden to Peter Schmeichel sending me messages. All these famous players want to play with me. It is so cool.
“I always play in the back garden, my mum sometimes films me and with all that has been going on (the virus), the video has gone everywhere.
“Millions of people have seen it. I can’t believe it, I never expected any of this.
“It’s really great, I feel like a superstar.
“It really felt great to hear from him. Schmeichel would be one of my favourite keepers so to get that message was amazing.
“I am a Leeds United fan but Schmeichel is one of the best ever.
“It is a difficult time but all I would say to everyone is to keep doing what you love, keep going, keep your habits.
“You can still play even when you are doing isolation. You can still have fun, that’s what I am doing. I practice every day and I won’t be stopping. The neighbours might not be happy to hear that!”
Nathan’s great attitude has not gone unnoticed by some of the world’s leading sports companies. Adidas had promised to kit him out if he goes ahead and takes on World Cup winner Juan Mata, who invited him to play in goal while he practiced his free kicks.
Nathan’s goalkeeping drill has also featured on sports channels Sky Sports and ESPN.
His mother Sarah-Jayne, who is a broadcaster herself, said they have been contacted by news agencies from as far as Turkey and Dubai.
She said: “It has been nuts.
“Nate has had so many interviews, I’ve literally lost count. It just escalated so quickly and the interest hasn’t stopped. I was up until 5am, but it’s been fantastic.
“There have been media in touch from Turkey, Dubai, there has been some response. It really hasn’t stopped since I posted the video. I was getting ready to go to work when I filmed it. The reaction has been incredible. With all the worrying news, I think the story has just grabbed everyone’s imagination.
“It’s been a great distraction from the virus. Nate is absolutely buzzing.”