X-Factor star reveals he played football with Gareth Southgate Brighton News

An X-FACTOR star once played football alongside England manager Gareth Southgate in their school team.

Chico, from Crawley, has revealed he has stepped onto the pitch alongside the Euro 2020 finalist manager while playing for Hazelwick School.

Chico, real name Yousseph Slimani, rose to fame in 2005 after reaching the quarterfinals on the X-Factor TV show.

READ MORE: Cheers and chants as fans flood West Street after England win

The 49-year-old was born in Wales but moved to Morocco at the age of two.

He returned to the UK at 14 and joined Hazelwick School at Three Bridges.

Discussing his education on Loose Women ahead of the 2018 World Cup, Chico said it was soon clear that the England manager was better than most.

“Not many people know that, but when I came from Morocco and didn’t speak a word of English, I could play football,” he said.

Argus star: X-Factor reveals he played football alongside Gareth SouthgateX-Factor star reveals he played football alongside Gareth Southgate

“I was at a school called Hazelwick School in Crawley, which happens to be the same school as Gareth Southgate, and we were on the same football team.

“But the point is, they were all playing for Brighton Youth and stuff. [Gareth Southgate] came and dribbled in front of everyone.

“I looked at it and thought ‘the chances of me becoming a Moroccan Maradona have just evaporated’.”

Chico released the only number one of his career in 2006, titled It’s Chico Time.

In 2010, he also released a song called It’s England Time, in support of the England team heading to the World Cup in South Africa.

Chico described Gareth Southgate as an “amazing being” and “just the nicest person”.

“There were two sides – the nerd lot, which I was a part of because I didn’t speak English and so on, and then the cool people. But he could be anywhere, ”he said.

“He was exactly as he is now. No one had a hard time saying about him. Everyone loved him.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-08 09:56:44

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