They carry similar hairstyles and some may say they have similar features as a player. Trinidad and Tobago Under-20 marksman Kadeem Corbin patterns his game after Italian forward Mario Balotelli. Corbin wants to be like Balotelli, maybe not by following his on the field antics but what he does with the ball.
“Mario Balotelli is my favourite player. That’s the man who inspires me and I try to take in whatever he does on the field. I want to be like him. The way he scores goals and the way he has an impact on his team and on matches, that’s how I see myself. That was me during the Under 20 finals,” Corbin said on Tuesday.
Born March 4, 1996, Corbin grew up in Petit Valley and started playing the game at age six at Harvard’s. He moved on to Sky FC and joined San Juan Jabloteh at age 13. Currently he is with Pro League outfit St Ann’s Rangers and St Anthony’s College.
Crediting his uncles, mainly Bert Balfour for being his biggest supporters, Corbin has his sights on playing on the European stage in five years or so.
“It’s going to be tough but I want to be in Europe in five years time or maybe before. Barcelona is my number one team. I just love to see them play. But I think if I can get into a club in Europe it will help my development and I’ll be able to lift my game and come back and do well for the national team,” he said.
Corbin, who has Joevin Jones down as his favourite local player, says his teammates are the ones who inspire him on the pitch.
“My teammates are my biggest inspiration. I think the mindset of the players is what pushed us to win last week. We believed in ourselves and the team will get better once we continue to prepare going into the tournament in Jamaica,” he added.
Capturing the Most Valuable Player and top goalscorer award at the just concluded Caribbean Under-20 Championship, where he led T&T to the title with five goals, has not left Corbin with his shirt collar tucked upwards. He knows that there is much more to do.
“My game is far from being where it has to be. I have to work on my size and my strength and that will be my focus over the next few months. I like scoring goals and helping the other guys but I have a lot of work to do before I get to being that top player,” Corbin said.
He will hope to lead T&T to its third ever Fifa Under-20 World Cup, next year in New Zealand.