CHRISTIAN DOIDGE watches videos of Alvaro Morata and Robert Lewandowski for inspiration — but now he will be starring on screens across the land.
The Forest Green forward was the FIRST player from outside of Europe’s top divisions to be face-captured for FIFA 18.
The Gloucestershire club are playing in the EFL for the first time in their 128-year history and games brand EA Sports decided to mark the event.
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Doidge, who kicked off the opening weekend with a brace in the 2-2 draw with Barnet, was the first to step up.
He told SunSport: “I’m going to have to buy a console now just to see what I look like and to play as myself!
“A lot of my family play and they think it’s very cool.
“It’s the first time someone out of the top elite leagues has been in it so it’s a really good touch.
“On and off the field, Forest Green are doing a lot of things, we are pushing in the right direction — and that’s why a lot of players want to come here.”
Doidge scored 27 goals for Rovers last season and admits he is a football anorak who studies striker videos religiously.
He said: “I like Morata, who has just signed for Chelsea. I like those strikers who are in between a nine and a ten who are very mobile but are still good with their back to goal. People like Lewandowski.
“I watch videos of them. I’m a weirdo for football. I watch any standard, any level — anything to help me improve.”
One of the things he believes can help him get better is Forest Green’s special focus on a vegan diet.
Evergreen England ace Jermain Defoe, 34, has turned vegan in his bid to stay at the peak of his powers.
Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero have both gone meat-free.
And Welshman Doidge, 24, reckons the vegan diet Rovers players follow during working hours has played its part in his scintillating form.
The ex-Southampton trainee added: “It’s a bit different. No other club does it so you have to embrace it when you come here. Obviously I had a good season last year and I did eat vegan food.
“It can’t be a fluke. It has helped me in some ways and let’s hope it helps me this season as well.
“Fitness-wise, I have felt the best of my career and it’s probably down to the food.
“David Haye, the boxer, has followed it, too. It’s what the chairman believes in and a couple of the boys are even vegan in their own time.
Rovers won promotion after beating Tranmere in the National League play-off final — a year after losing the same game at Wembley.
They were the highest scorers in the division last season and Doidge, who was on target at Wembley in May, insists they have no plans to rein in their attacking approach.
He added: “I get a lot of opportunities and that is down to our attacking philosophy. Hopefully that will be the same in League Two.
“We know the opposition will be better but we have brought in a few new players and we don’t intend to change much about how we play.
“Our manager likes the front two to defend from the front.
“When we have the ball it is all about movement and creating space for yourself. It’s a good way of playing.
“I’ve played in League Two before (at Dagenham) and found it OK.
“I was in a struggling team that time but I don’t think we will be in that position this year.
“We don’t want to be in a relegation battle.
“We will try to be as good as we possibly can and see where that takes us.”
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