The Udinese footballer is the undisputed leader of the Italian team
“I’m in no rush. I was close to Napoli, it didn’t happen and I’m very calm and happy to continue where I am,” says the former Barca player
Udinese have been unstoppable in this start to the campaign: four wins, including an emphatic 4-0 win over Roma Jose Mourinhothey put him fourth in the table, pre Inter, Roma, Lazio or Juventus. And one of the culprits of this explosion is undoubtedly the Spanish Gerard Deulofeuwho, in an interview with EFE, evaluates this start of the season, which he considers the “best moment” of his career.
Deulofeu (Girona, 1994) experiences a sweet moment in the city of Udine with his family, his pillar and in a club where he feels “very happy”. The former Barcelona, Sevilla or AC Milan player also talks about his personal change that has made him “a professional footballer down to the last millimetre”, about a possible exit from the past transfer market, success and Barcelona, among other issues.
QUESTION: Great moment from Udinese. Four straight wins and just one loss in six games How is the dressing room at the moment?
ANSWER: A magical moment. When you win and you have that winning feeling that you have it here (makes fist) and you don’t want anyone to take it away from you, it’s a very good time to give it a lot of value and continue to grow as a group creating a very winning mentality because can. We are a team that has very strong personalities and that needs to create a strong mentality, we are doing well and we can go on. We place great value on the moment and these victories, which are by no means easy. Winning a match in Serie A is very difficult.
Q: What is the team’s goal for the season?
A: No goals, no standings, nothing, because it’s a consequence. The most important thing is to create a mentality with the young players there, with players who play less and with experienced players who can give the team a boost. This will bring us to the results: mentality. To run for your teammate, to be stronger than your opponent, to be better than him, at the end of the day, that’s what every weekend is about. This will lead us to see the standings or results later, at the end of the season.
Q: He is coming off the back of scoring thirteen goals last season, being one of the undisputed leaders of this Udinese side in green. Do you think this is the best moment of your career?
A: One hundred percent the best moment of my career. First, because I know what is happening to me and why; and, secondly, because I enjoy it a lot.
Last season was very good on an individual level. I came back from injury, many goals, assists… But I think a player can go to another level, lead his team to create that mentality and win every weekend. Goals take a back seat whenFrom your position as a skilled player, as a leader in attack, as a player that your teammates look up to, you can start to create that bubble that takes you one step higher. Then the goals will come first is that the team wins. That’s why it’s one of the most beautiful moments.
Q: What do you mean by “I know what’s happening to me and why”?
A: I mean my personal and professional life are very aligned and so I know what’s going on with me. During the week I prepare and approach the match amazingly, and then when what happened at the weekend and it’s been going on for a year and a half now, I think I’m at a very strong level, I know why it’s happening to me. As I focus on play during the week, both on a personal level, with my children or my partner, from the love i have at home, who took him to the party; and then, of course, in everything that involves the preparation of the game: rest, food… Being a boy who goes to the millimeter for the weekend.
Q: There was talk in the market of a possible exit. Naples sounded like his new destination.
A: Yes, it’s true. I was very close to leaving, but I realized one thing. I used to be a winger with a lot of conditions, with a lot of quality, and I have become a midfielder who understands football inside out. As for the market, he didn’t want to be Gerard from before and to return to the outside position, then either a team came with my terms, with what I think it will be Gerard for the next four or five years or I wouldn’t be out. I put this before the others. And I also put forward that I am happy at Udinese. I’m in no rush. I was close, it didn’t happen, but I’m very relaxed and happy to continue where I am.
Not only did I have an option for Napoli, there were several teams. We negotiated with a few, but the terms that both the club and I wanted didn’t happen.
Q: Do you now also consider yourself a leader in the locker room?
A: Yes, I consider myself one of the leaders in the Udinese dressing room, one hundred percent. I’m a gamer who luckily enjoys a lot of experiences in many important countries and dressing rooms and what I do now is to pass on to my teammates everything I have been able to experience. Pass on that winning mentality that can be created in this team. Of course, then my quality and that of the others will come to light.
Q: Serie A seems to be the league he has adapted to best. Why do you think this is so?
A: Series A is the one that the most I enjoyed it because I spent time at Milan and Udinese They were the best of my career or year at Watford or Everton. I have enjoyed from all sides, I remember a period in Seville and another, at the beginning, in Barcelona. But yes, in the long term, I especially did it at Milan and Udinese.
He meant he was in Serie A, but the Premier League is my favorite league. I think it’s best as a hustle, an organization… it’s outrageous.
In Milan I was very happy for the team I joined, for the birth of my first daughter; And now I am very happy at Udinese, with an organized family connected by love, and in football I am a professional to the last millimetre. I like where I am, I think that is the key to my change. Accepting the team I’m on and wanting to be on the team I’m onY.
The most important thing to achieve success is to want to be where you are and to live every day happily. This will lead you to success.
Q: The season will inevitably be marked by the break for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Do you think that could affect Udinese’s form?
A: No, it will not affect. From the last game we play before the World Cup to the next after it’s over, the coach, the coaching staff and the players will make sure it doesn’t affect us and that no one relaxes even a millimeter.
From the training we insist on, there’s no slacking because what happens is you don’t do another race at the weekend and it shows in the results. We will squeeze from the first to the last day of the season.
Question: The new coach, Andrea Sotil, he seems to have found the key in tactics to be a solid defense without losing the offensive essence that characterized Udinese last season. How to work with it?
A: He was a very intelligent coach. He arrived and was able to leave some things that worked very well in the last period of last season. He was also a coach who added a lot of motivation and who insisted a lot in training. knows this very well we are a team that has to press, we run like crazy for teammates too, otherwise we don’t have a chance to face a certain level of opponents and that’s what we do. We are very glad of your arrival.
Q: Does it give you more freedom? What do you ask him in the field?
A: Total freedom. He asks me about certain aspects, but well, I know very well what my teammates and my coach want for everything I’ve been in football. I know that too the defensive work I do is key for the team and I will continue to do so because the team is greatly helped by a midfielder who contributes so much in defense but is also so dangerous in attack.
This creates problems for the opponent in both parts. The first, that he cannot play with his midfielder, who is the one who organizes the play; and then to counterattack in a very good way. I can do it because physically I feel great.
Q: You lost this year Nahuel Molina -signed by Atlético de Madrid- in the right lane, with whom he formed a good partnership last year.
A: In football, there are little partners on the field and it’s amazing to have that relationship. Nahuel and I had a great one, I remember in the second part of the season we came together on the right wing and did a lot of damage to the opponents.
This year I have it with Beto and with “Tuku” (Roberto Pereira). Quality players but who understand that they are leaders and have to push the team, knowing that it’s not all about attack or quality, but showing the team that we are an example to defend.
Q: What are your short-term goals?
A: i don’t want to go anywhere. What I’ve learned is that it’s so good to live in a place where you’re happy that you can’t think about what’s going to happen. The first thing you need to know how to perform and have the emotional stress we are talking about so controlled and calm is to love your club, give your best and not think about anything beyond.
From here it is clear that I am a very demanding player to myself and to my team and I want to be as high as possible and score as much as possible. This will happen if every Sunday we run like lions, more than the opponent.
Q: How is the market and the current situation in Barcelona?
A: I am very happy for the one who arrived in Barcelona because it is a luxury to be able to see Havia former colleague of mine as I can see Joan Laportawho was also there when I was young makes me very happy and of course we all see that last year was a transition year but this year because of how he signed up and how the team is doing I honestly believe that it’s No More transition year.
Barca will fight for everything. There are leaders stratospheric level players And I am very happy because Barça will start again in the championship and in Europe.
Q: Would you like to get a call-up to the national team again at some point?
A: Choice is the best, but I know very well that there is a reality. I haven’t been there for a long time, I see it as complicated because there is a lot of competition, but you know that I am a very demanding player with high hopes. For now I’m enjoying my club, although I hope to get to the top because representing your country is the best.