Wilfried Zaha has spoken about how his father suffering a stroke brought home the importance of him staying true to his South London roots.
The Ivory Coast international, 26, has been the subject of transfer speculation but Crystal Palace would have no intention of letting their top attacking talent leave without a club paying a huge sum.
Zaha has left once before but his 2013 transfer to Manchester United did not work out and he was back with the Eagles by the 2014-15 season.
Zaha spoke to Carling for an exclusive short film. He said: “My dad had a stroke. He lived away from me, but as soon as he had a stroke it was an eye-opener that I need to keep him close.
“He’s not as young as he was before! Now on a Friday before games, he tends to pray with me
“If I wasn’t home, I wouldn’t be able to do that, so it makes a massive difference.
“I’m around my friends, I’m around my family and one thing that’s special to me, the main thing about being local and near home, is that I can reason with my dad after games.
“We will actually sit and go through my game, what he liked and what I liked, and what I should have done better.”
Zaha has lived most of his life in the Croydon area.
He said: “I’m proud to be from here and I’m glad that I’m still here because I’ve reached my dream.
“Obviously, there’s so much I want to do in football, but I’ve managed to become a professional footballer and I’m still in the area where I made it. I’m still around my people, still around my friends, so I feel like you can do it too, you know what I mean?”
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