AARON HICKEY has recalled the moment he was almost refused entry to a bar in Brentford – because no one knew who he actually was.
That's despite the Scottish international full-back having just hours earlier aided Brentford to a 4-0 win over Manchester United, where he bodied Cristiano Ronaldo in the process.
In fairness to the locals, the 20-year-old had not long moved to the West London club from Bologna in Serie A.
Even now, with all the glamour involved with the Premier League, Hickey keeps himself to himself and is quite the laid back character, shying away from the limelight. Maybe even now they wouldn't recognise him.
Nonetheless, Hickey probably wasn't expecting the same fans who were cheering him on as he left CR7 on the floor to be mistaking him for some random youngster in a pub later that night.
He told The Herald: “My dad and a few of my cousins were at the game.
“After the match, actually, they were at the pub around the corner with some Brentford fans. I’ve just popped in to see them and say hello, but I don’t think any of the fans actually recognised me – they just thought I was some random bloke in the pub.
“A funny thing, actually, the security guard stopped me and said: ‘Show me your ID!’”
THAT tackle on Ronaldo was just another tackle to the Scottish full-back.
Despite the images going viral and he himself receiving loads of text messages about it, Hickey doesn't have much to say on the challenge heard all around the Premier League.
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“Yeah, everyone talks about that. I don’t really know what to say about it. It just happened to be him," he explained.
“I don’t know too much about it, it just sort of… happened. Everyone was messaging me saying ‘you’ve just done Ronaldo!’”
Hickey became somewhat of a trendsetter for Scots when he left Hearts for Serie A's Bologna in 2020.
Since then the left-back has been followed by Lewis Ferguson from Aberdeen and Josh Doig from Hibs, with Jack Hendry also on loan at Cremonese from Club Brugge.
Fellow Scot Liam Henderson's journey to Italy's top division was a bit different, as he originally joined Bari in Serie B.
What it means though is that for the first time in decades – or ever, really – there is a strong contingent of Scottish players not just playing outside of Scotland, but on the continent.
Leaving Italian football (not to mention the weather and food) behind wasn't exactly an easy decision but Hickey says Brentford caught his ear from the first interview.
He said: “What they were saying interested me the most.
“I had a Zoom call with the manager before I signed and he told me what his plans were for me. The fact that it was in London, and it being such a nice area, helped me make the decision.
“I’m still young and I want to progress and play football. At my age, the most important thing for me is to get as much game-time as I can.
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“I feel like Brentford and Bologna were the best opportunities for me to get that. I’m not saying that I would [definitely] have got the game-time but those were the best chances to get it.”
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