DeAndre Hopkins is good at football. Hardly breaking news, I know. But what about fútbol?
The Texans wide receiver has long been a fan of soccer ever since he started playing the sport with his best friend when he was 7 years old.
"It started when I was young and I just picked it up playing with him," Hopkins said in a recent Texans Radio interview. "I would always be the goalie, his test dummy. He would shoot on me."
On Wednesday afternoon, Hopkins had an opportunity to see the sport up close and personal when Mexican National Team Head Coach Miguel Herrera and Director of Mexican National Teams Héctor González Iñárritu visited Houston for a press conference to preview Mexico's upcoming game against Honduras at NRG Stadium on July 1 at 8:30 p.m.
After the presser, Hopkins and Herrera, famously known as "El Piojo", exchanged custom jerseys.
"It was pretty cool," Hopkins said. "It was pretty cool to meet the coach."
The third-year receiver shares the same jersey number (10) as Barcelona's Lionel Messi, his favorite soccer player "without question".
In fact, Hopkins planned on attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup but the tournament conflicted with his offseason workout schedule and thus he couldn't make it.
When it comes to soccer, the low-scoring nature of the sport doesn't bother Hopkins. He knows how much effort and skill the game requires.
"Those guys, they do so much," Hopkins said. "Those guys are dedicated. They are very talented. They have better footwork than most NFL players, and the goals they do score, some of them are amazing. You are just in awe, like, 'How do they do that?'"
On the football field, Hopkins isn't short on confidence. Turns out, he's interested in playing goalie after his NFL playing days are over, and he'd feel plenty confident on the pitch.
"I think I could get the job done," Hopkins said.