‘I’ve always loved Karate Kid!’ – Newcastle star Saint-Maximin talks headbands, Ronaldinho inspiration and board games


Allan Saint-Maximin is a larger-than-life figure at Newcastle United on and off the pitch, with the enigmatic France winger famous for his trademark dreadlock headband that sets him apart as a bit different from the norm.

The 25-year-old relishes such a role, and always has, with a player who drew inspiration from some of the most mercurial playmakers of all time – such as Ronaldinho and Zinedine Zidane – seeking to leave his own lasting impression on the game.

He also deals with creative adventures outside the football field, with his own produced board game, and intends to continue down a path that allows him to “take risks” with his image, his profession choice and business interests.

Why does Allan Saint-Maximin wear a headband?

A man who joined Newcastle from Nice in the summer of 2019 says his distinctive style is inspired by a character from a famous 1980s film, telling GOAL why he’s wearing a headband: “I’m not particularly trying to stand out.

“The headband, for example, I’ve always liked Karate Kid, tennis players, but also manga. In the world of manga [Japanese comics and novels], there are mythical characters who wear headbands. Tennis, [Rafa] Nadal and [Roger] Federer also wears them. Karate Kid too.

“Obviously wearing a headband while bald isn’t the best look. It’s also what made me want to find a haircut that could go with my headbands.

Who did Allan Saint-Maximin admire in his youth?

Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle United 2021-22

Getty

While clinging to the dream of making his way into the senior France squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup, a talented striker with 12 Newcastle goals to his name in 90 appearances admits he’s always loved being an entertainer flamboyant.

“I was born into it,” he said when asked about his style of play and those he wanted to emulate.

“Since I was little, whether at futsal, at five years old, at home between the furniture, I have always dribbled. I was going everywhere with my ball and my goal was always to dribble.

“I’ve always really liked Brazilian players, be it Robinho or Ronaldinho. There are also very classy French players like Zidane. They inspired me and made me want to dribble.

“When you start football at four years old and you train for 10 or 15 years to make cross passes, to work the left foot or the right foot, you inevitably manage to have qualities and to get by with the ball. “But knowing how to dribble your opponents very well is not given to everyone. That’s why a Zidane, in the France team, we didn’t have 50.”

What is Allan Saint-Maximin’s board game?

The Magpies star launched his own board game in January 2022 and continues to explore other avenues away from the football field, such as NFTs.

His game, which is called Helios, is based on the world of the Greek gods and involves a combination of risk and luck with cards, dice and coins, with the slogan “Fortune smiles on the bold”.

This sums up Saint-Maximin, who said to fork in a direction that few of his contemporaries would have considered and if one must be gifted to take such a path: “We will say that it is a good example because it helped to create an entire game, all the rules of this board game and everything that could be thought around it, to also create a game that people will like, a game that stands out from the rest.

“It took me a long time to get there and having a high IQ definitely helped me achieve my goal.

“I’m not a big fan of board games. It was my children who made me want to create my own game, to play. That there are tournaments organized all over the world around something that I imagined, I find it beautiful.

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