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Brennan Johnson: ”I want to be more than someone who just loves football”

Brennan Johnson is one of the Premier League’s most surprising players this season. The young Welshman already impressed at the highest level in England in his debut season with Nottingham Forest, which was rewarded with his summer move to Tottenham Hotspur. The winger needed some time to settle in north London, but after the winter break Johnson contributed with plenty of goals and assists. A great development, but our followers know there is more than just the 90 minutes on the pitch. And so does Johnson. The Welshman spoke with the news medium GQ about his style, skateboarding and his life after football.

Brennan Johnson Spurs


Johnson has a wide range of interests. Some fans got the misconception that players aren’t allowed to have other interest, however a bit of distraction is crucial according to the footballer. “Obviously, the standard opinion is that players who get paid loads have the best life ever, which is true, but I think when things aren’t going so well – when they’re playing bad or the team’s playing bad – you can’t stay thinking about football 24/7. Even when things are going well, you need to be allowed to do other things’’, says Johnson who finds distraction in the language-learning app Duolingo. “It’s so repetitive,” he says. “Like, yeah — match the words to the gaps in the sentence. I know that. I know how to do a puzzle, but I’m trying to learn a language here.”


Besides playing Duolingo, he loves the world of fashion. “Fashion is massive for me,” says Johnson. “That’s been consistent in my life. I love finding out new things about clothes, what looks good on me, what looks bad. It’s a way to learn about yourself. And about what influences designers, too, especially designers from different cultures. I especially love learning about Asian fashion, the cultures and traditions,” he says. “I’ve never properly been there, which is something I’d love to do. The pride they take in their fashion and their perfectionism is inspiring. I’ve always grown up in England, but through football, I’ve seen a little about how people from different places live.’’

“When I first started buying my own clothes, I was only interested in things like crazy shirts or shoes. I’d kinda just dress for vibe without thinking about it, and I’d look horrendous. I remember this one shirt that was covered in roses. You can imagine. It sounds like something you’d wear once as fancy dress but… I just loved mad shirts for some reason. I used to get inspired by seeing people wearing properly out-there things and thinking, That’s how I wanna be, you know?. I still love that streetwear crosses over from skateboarding. But a lot of fashion brands use skateboarding looks now, and those kids’ styles just came from them being themselves. They didn’t ask for their clothes to be on the runway. They wore them because it was practical for skateboarding.”

Although his dressing style was a big search, the 22-year-old knows where he wants to be when he is 35. “I want to be more than someone who just loves football,” Johnson says. “I really want to be a lot more than that. I want to be someone who has so many different hobbies, different interests, who has taken so many different avenues and found so many different things to take pleasure in.”

Curious about the entire interview? Check it out at GQ!