Theo Walcott on facing Lionel Messi and Neymar, Borussia Dortmund’s Yellow Wall and the ‘strange’ birthday messages he received due to shout out on Peep Show

In a senior career that’s lasted the best part of 16 years, Theo Walcott has seen a lot.

He was the wonderkid everyone wanted a piece of as he burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old with Southampton in 2005.

Walcott attracted interest from the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool but opted to join Arsenal aged 16
Getty Images – Getty
He’s now back where it all began, officially making his loan move from Everton permanent earlier this summer

And by January 2006, a couple of months before his 17th birthday, Walcott was snapped up by Arsenal before earning a shock call-up to England’s World Cup squad that summer.

Arsenal was his home for the next 12 years and being at a club of that stature undoubtedly led to a lot of great opportunities.

He’s played against some of the biggest clubs in the world, at some of the most iconic stadiums against some of the best players to have ever played the game.

Walcott unsurprisingly cites Barcelona when they had that deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar up front as the toughest team he ever faced – this coming at a time where Arsenal seemed to be drawn against the Spanish side every year!

‘MSN’ were a formidable trio and helped Barca become European champions in 2015
Getty Images

“That team was just incredible,” he told talkSPORT. “When you’re playing against that team at the Nou Camp and when they came to the Emirates, it says it all having those three up front.”

Walcott’s time at Arsenal saw him play in some imposing atmospheres across the continent, including the Camp Nou and Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena.

However, Borussia Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion is the clincher in terms of the best atmosphere he’s experienced.

Dortmund's famous south stand is known as the Yellow Wall
That would intimidate even the toughest of opponents

He added: “I’ve played at some fantastic stadiums. I played at Arsenal for a lot of my career, even seeing the support when coming back to Southampton has been fantastic.

“But the one that just tips it would have to be Dortmund. I remember playing there many years ago, the wall is just incredible and when the team goes there and they all sort of stand up one by one.

“They all go up to the wall and it’s just an incredible sight to see. It will be really nice to see that again now fans are slowly getting back in and that’s been really missed.”

He’s starred for Southampton and Arsenal, while also having some great moments playing for England – but Walcott also became an unlikely star of Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show.

March 16, 2019 was a big day for the player as he turned 30 but it also sparked a social media frenzy from fans of the show.

In one episode, Jez (portrayed by Robert Webb), had the idea of making his millions by selling the headline ‘Three-O Walcott’ to a tabloid newspaper on Walcott’s special day.

Walcott doesn’t watch the show so was greeted with a series of unexpected ‘Three-O Walcott’ messages on the day and needed someone to explain to him why there was all this interest in him!

He said: “I got a lot more messages than expected! I didn’t know what it was at the time and I was getting loads of stuff and social media just blew up.

“A lot of strange messages that day and I genuinely had no idea what it was at first until someone explained it to me. That was good fun!”

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