The Swansea City goalkeeper will line up against James on Saturday as the Swans aim to end the run of Portsmouth as FA Cup holders at Fratton Park.
And the Dutchman admits that he sees James as an inspiration to other goalkeepers having played for so long in the Premiership and still plying his trade at the highest level at the age of 37.
Speaking to the Evening Post, De Vries said “I admire David James
“He is 37 now. He has lots of experience because he has been doing his job for ages, but he is still very fit and seems as though he could go on for another 10 years.
“You are always trying to learn from that kind of player.
“He is a great international goalkeeper, he is one of the best in the Premier League and he is someone for a player like me to look up to.
“I think he has got better as he’s got older, which happens with a lot of keepers
“I have been lucky as I have been playing first-team football since I was 18 so I have gathered a lot of experience.
“But I am just 28 and I feel there are many years ahead of me.
“Hopefully I will keep myself fit and, if I stay professional in the way I approach the game, I can go on for as long as David James has.
“Being a professional footballer is the best job there is, it’s a great life, and it’s something I want to do for as long as possible.
“I would love to go on playing for another 10 years.”