Madonna stepped up preparations for her Super Bowl halftime performance by indulging in a flirty encounter with a nervous young NFL star.

Gerald McCoy, a defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, used the Queen of Pop's official press conference on Thursday as a chance to make himself known to her -- and he got a better response than he could have dreamed of.

Despite being rebuffed when he asked the 53-year-old performer for a post-press conference kiss, Madonna made McCoy blush by admitted that she "likes 22-year-olds."

She also gave him some useful career advice.

"If you don't believe in what you are doing and don't have passion for what you are doing, quit right now," Madonna said as she revealed she will sing three old songs and one new one at halftime of Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. "Anything that is worth having and accomplishing is going to be hard.

"There are going to be a lot of people trying to bring you down and telling you 'You can't.' So have faith in yourself and don't take anything personally."

McCoy, the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, was working as a reporter for OCNN, Chad Ochocinco's television station. He admits the chance to speak with (and profess his love for) Madonna was a dream come true.

"She is incredible," McCoy tells ThePostGame.com. "She has been making hit records since before I was born. She is so attractive and even though I wasn’t that nervous before because I wasn’t thinking about it, now I can’t believe that I really got to speak to her.

"I have had a lot of fun here at the Super Bowl but the highlight of my week was when she said she likes 22-year-olds. Hey man, you never know."

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The Material Girl told the media how she has been suffering from big-game nerves ahead of her performance at Lucas Oil Stadium, and has undergone extensive physiotherapy to combat an untimely pulled hamstring.

"I feel like I am one of the football players right now with all the physical therapy I have to do," she said. "But I'm good. Mind over matter."

There will be at least one 22-year-old who will love her show.

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