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I’m an ex-Premier League star who was wanted by Barcelona but joined Hull – now I’m going for the Ballon d’Or


JADEN PHILOGENE has been linked in his career with moves to Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

But the skilful winger, 21, pitched up at Hull!

Jaden Philogene has been a revelation for Hull this season

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Jaden Philogene has been a revelation for Hull this seasonCredit: Rex
The 21-year-old has been tracked by some of the biggest clubs in the world

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The 21-year-old has been tracked by some of the biggest clubs in the worldCredit: Alamy
Philogene has set his sights on winning the Ballon d'Or

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Philogene has set his sights on winning the Ballon d’OrCredit: SKY BET

Philogene arrived in the summer for £5million from Aston Villa.

And despite finding himself in the Championship rather than on Europe’s top stage, he has huge ambitions. He told SunSport: “I want to win the Ballon d’Or.”

That is in a different stratosphere from the accolade he picked up recently — the Sky Bet Championship goal of the month for his sublime back-heel against Rotherham — but Philogene exudes confidence.

After revealing he plays basketball, when asked if he was any good, he replied: “Yes, of course!”

So why did he move to the Tigers despite getting rave reviews on Villa’s pre-season US tour?

He said: “I needed game time. At my age I can’t just sit on the bench, I need to keep playing and thought this was the best opportunity.

“Obviously you must be doing something well to get linked with the sort of clubs I have.

“But you can’t let that get to your head because that’s when the focus drops.

Jaden Philogene is set to play a pivotal role in Hull's promotion push

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Jaden Philogene is set to play a pivotal role in Hull’s promotion pushCredit: ALAMY

“You must keep working hard and stay in your game — and everything will come from that.”

Climbing from the Championship to the European elite is not without precedent. Jude Bellingham moved from Birmingham to Dortmund after his incredible breakthrough season.

Philogene grew up loving Spanish football, supporting Real Madrid and idolising Cristiano Ronaldo — as well as former Barcelona greats Neymar and Ronaldinho.

He revealed: “When I was younger, I would play striker.

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“I’d get the ball and just dribble and then the game changed as I got older, so I started playing winger.”

Philogene, who played youth football for Brentford, found himself out of the game and joined the independent Pro Academy in North London before being signed by Villa at 16 after a year.

He explained: “I didn’t lose hope. I had to keep working hard because those opportunities are going to come.

“So my advice to anyone who wants to get into football is always be yourself, don’t change for anyone, always work hard, even when no one’s watching, it’ll pay off no matter what.”

And he firmly believes Hull can achieve something special under boss Liam Rosenior.

He insisted: “The Championship is unpredictable.

“Anyone can beat anyone but as long as we stay focused and stay as a team, we’ve got an opportunity to get in the play-offs.

“The gaffer has helped me a lot here.

“He tells me to be myself and play my own game, be confident — and it’s working.”

Jaden Philogene has also shone for England's Under-21s

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Jaden Philogene has also shone for England’s Under-21sCredit: Getty





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