Milner pays tribute to former team-mates

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James Milner believes his success is down to the quality of many great players he has played alongside in his early football career.

The Aston Villa winger made his first-team debut for Leeds in 2002 as a 16-year-old, marking his name as the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League. And it was the same season that he became the youngest player to score in the league.

Two years later Milner joined Newcastle before being loaned to Villa, where he has since made his move permanent.

And Milner holds his previous team-mates in high regard, citing them as an inspiration in his continued success.

"I'm lucky to have played at three fantastic football clubs, alongside some brilliant players," Milner told the Daily Mail. "Watching them every day, working with them every day.

"If you can't improve when you're working with some of the players I've met you're going to struggle.

"I feel like I've been able to take different bits from all of them.

"At Leeds I was able to work on my finishing with players like Robbie Fowler, Mark Viduka, Alan Smith, Harry Kewell and Robbie Keane.

"Nick Barmby was a great pro. The timing of his runs, getting into the box. Little things like that.

"Gareth Barry here. Unbelievable player. So confident on the ball.

"At Newcastle working with Alan Shearer was amazing. I was 10 when I watched him score all those goals in Euro 96 and the next thing I know I’m playing and training with him."

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