Curtis Davies has conceded his utmost admiration for Rio Ferdinand, going as far as to watch DVDs of the Manchester United man in action.
The accomplished Aston Villa defender was recalled to the England squad for the midweek defeat of Germany, but was unable to watch Ferdinand close hand as the United man was absent due to injury.
Davies has spoken this week of his desire to cement a place in Fabio Capello's England squad, but for the moment he admits he is still learning his trade as a centre-half.
He said: "Rio still sets the benchmark for me because he can perform both sides of the game. He is a great footballer, so composed on the ball, but he can also put his head in where it hurts and put his tackles in.
"He is so cool on the ball. He is the one I look to and I would like to try to emulate his success and the way he plays.
"He has not been in the same England squad as me. It would be good to see what he is like in training but, if you watch him on the pitch, it doesn't matter what he is like in training to be honest.
"He is one of the best and I've followed him for a long time."
Davies added: "I had a DVD of Rio someone gave me as a joke. One of my mates was a Liverpool fan and, when Rio got his ban, he gave me the DVD and said, 'if you miss him, you can watch the DVD'.
"I actually did watch it. I watched Manchester United, he wasn't there - so I turned on the DVD
"If you can watch a game and see things he does and try to take them into your game, you are only going to be better from learning from a player like that.
"If you want to reach the top, you want to look at what the top players are doing. You look at Rio, John Terry. They are the tops because they do the right thing all the time.
"If I can get anywhere near the consistency and ability they have got, I'll hopefully have a long career in this Premier League and hopefully have a few England caps under my belt."