A champion mindset is not only made on world stages but developed when no one is looking. To celebrate the X Ghosted boot, four footballers talk career secrets on the UK adidas X football podcast. From Real Madrid, Manchester United and Spain legend Juan Mata to Arsenal and Scotland international player Lisa Evans, these are honest conversations with some of the best footballers about what makes a champion on and off the pitch.

1. Champion mindset: Mindful competitiveness with Juan Mata

Poster of adidas X football podcast featuring football player Juan Mata, soccer, player, adidas, athlete

First up with hosts Jermaine Jenas, Erin Cuthbert, and Ben Haines is Spanish midfielder, Juan Mata. At the age of five, Juan discovered his love for football. Ten years later, he joined the Real Madrid Academy, playing and studying away from the support of his family. Further success followed with spells at Chelsea and Manchester United, playing and learning from athletes he always looked up to as a child, Juan found a champion mindset in mindful competitiveness.

This episode goes deep into the many career highlights Juan experienced over the years, as he recognized the importance of a high-performing environment for a champion. Playing with the most talented and hard-working players, he says: “Only by being around them, you become better.”

Check out the full episode with Juan Mata.

2. Champion mindset: Vision and pride with Lisa Evans

Poster of adidas X football podcast featuring football player Lisa Evans, soccer, player, adidas, athlete

Arsenal and Scotland international Lisa Evans is the next guest on the adidas X football podcast. With her move to Potsdam in Germany, Lisa built a champion mindset on and off the pitch. Being in a new environment, she had to learn a new language and adapt to an unfamiliar culture, pushing beyond her comfort zone to get into a growth zone. And she did, eventually winning the German Bundesliga following a further move to FC Bayern Munich.

As teammates, Erin and Lisa talk about their experience playing for their national team and the future of women’s football.

Lisa’s champion mindset is inspired by the pride and vision she has for the talent that’s continuously coming up around her.

Check out the full adidas X football podcast episode with Lisa Evans.

3. Champion mindset: Enjoy the journey with Tariq Lamptey

Poster of adidas X football podcast featuring football player Tariq Lamptey, soccer, player, adidas, athlete

This football podcast episode is a special one. Rising star Tariq Kwame Nii-Lante Lamptey talks about his grassroots development journey. Starting at Chelsea at the age of nine as an all-arounder, Tariq’s champion mindset is about enjoying his growth.

At the same time, Tariq values the importance of seizing the moment. In his experience, the traits of a champion are a mixture of gratitude, enjoyment, and hard work, recognizing that many others would gladly take his spot at any moment.

This is a candid conversation about Tariq’s professional debut, his bold decision to move to Brighton and his future career ambitions. One of the habits that helps Tariq build a champion mindset is to have personal targets to aspire to, saying “It’s important to have goals and to try and put things into perspective.”

Check out the entire interview with Tariq Lamptey.

4. Champion mindset: Reliability with Max Aarons

Poster of adidas X football podcast featuring football player Max Aarons, soccer, player, adidas, athlete

In the final episode, the adidas X football podcast hosts Max Aarons. Losing a contract at the age of 14, Max built his champion mindset by moving forward from disappointment with faith and patience. “When you have your heart set on something, and it doesn’t happen as you planned, it’s tough. But I left this experience behind. For me, it was just straight onto the next one.” – Max Aarons

Max also shares his experience of competing internationally and proving himself against the best teams. The Norwich defender talks about exploring all the facets of his talent and being present at all times.

Check out the full football podcast interview with Max Aarons.

Also, make sure not to miss the end of each episode as Erin, Ben, and Jermaine play the X Ghosted ‘Fast Is Too Slow’ challenge with all athletes.

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