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Royce Freeman is College Football’s Biggest Soccer Fan

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The Oregon Ducks running back has love for the other football.

NCAA Football: South Dakota at Oregon Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Royce Freeman is a tough-running 240-pound running back for the Oregon Ducks, but that doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate the finesse and talents of much smaller men on the other side of the pond.

According to a story from ESPN’s Chantel Jennings, Freeman loves soccer, and he’s more likely to pontificate about it in interviews than he is Pac-12 defenses.

Freeman’s favorite player? Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

“He’s a lefty so he’s a little bit different,” Freeman said. “He switches it up. I like the intensity he plays with. He plays for Real [Madrid]. It’s hard to get shine there. You’ve got Ronaldo and all those guys. And his national team, in my opinion, is not very good. But, he’s a star. He can pull it from long range. In UEFA, he scored a couple goals on free kicks from range. That was pretty impressive.”

Anything else, Royce?

“He hustles all over. He plays more of a mid for Real, but he’s a striker for Wales. Him being the main dude, he’s not afraid to pull it from long -- that’s what I like. He kicks it hard. Especially being left-footed, it’s hard to judge a ball. He’s out there just killing the game. Savage.”

The gateway for Freeman’s soccer love was Oregon teammate Arrion Springs, who played soccer in high school and got him into watching the Champions League. The pair also love playing FIFA soccer video game against each other.

Freeman loves soccer enough that he got star struck after meeting a family from Wales (Bale’s home country).

“It was mind-blowing,” Freeman said. “I freaked out.”