John McGinn has dreamed of playing on the big stage ever since he saw his idol Zinedine Zidane win the Champions League.
The 18-year old St Mirren midfielder sat at Hampden Park when Zidane produced a sizzling left-footed volley on the stroke of half-time as Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in the 2002 final and since that day has been yearning for the same sort of greatness.
“That goal just blew me away,” McGinn told SunSport ahead of St Mirren’s Scottish Communities League Cup final against Hearts on Sunday.
“I had a great view of it. I was behind that goal when Zidane scored his volley into the top corner.
“From then on I just wanted to be Zidane. I wanted all the adulation he got.
“I remember that game and that goal so well. It was a real carnival atmosphere that night.
“I went with my dad and my brothers Stephen and Paul. Stephen won’t forget the match in a hurry either – he ended up missing Zidane’s goal because of me.
“I asked him to get me a pie but they didn’t have any so he came back and asked if I wanted a cheeseburger.
“He started going back up the stairs just as Zidane scored.
“But I was lucky enough to see it and it will live with me forever. I remember thinking what an amazing feeling it would be if I could score into the same goal he did.
“That was my dream as a kid and it’s still my dream.
“I can only imagine how it would feel to do it on Sunday.”