David Rozehnal: Jsem ten pravý!

13. srpna 2007 v 12:40 |  Články
Touha zlepšovat se, osoba kouče Sama Allardyce a ostrá konkurence v nejprestižnější soutěži světa. To jsou hlavní důvody, proč se reprezentační bek DAVID ROZEHNAL (27) rozhoupal k přestupu do anglického Newcastlu United. "Teď už záleží jen na mně, abych prokázal, že jsem ten pravý muž na tom pravém místě. A já jsem!" věří si stoper v interview pro týdeník Sunday Sun.
Nemyslíte si, že jste na Premier League až přespříliš křehký?
"V posledním ročníku jsem odehrál za Paris St. Germain 60 zápasů. Ani jednou jsem se nezranil! A na konci sezony jsem se cítil skvěle."
Ale v přípravných zápasech jste evidentně přitvrdil…
"Doufám, že jsem pracoval dostatečně tvrdě na to, abych se protlačil do základu. Každým zápasem se cítím líp a líp. Fyzička rozhoduje. Když jste dobře připraven kondičně, jste schopen čelit každé výzvě."
A uspět v Anglii je pro vás jistě obrovskou výzvou…
"Premier League je veliké lákadlo. Bez debat jde o nejkvalitnější soutěž světa. Než jsem sem přestoupil, mluvil jsem o ní i s Petrem Čechem a dalšími hráči, kteří zde působí."
K definitivnímu přestupu vás prý ovšem přesvědčil zejména trenér United Sam Allardyce…
"Byl tím hlavním důvodem. Slyšel jsem, že mě chtěl koupit už do Boltonu, kde působil dříve."
Předtím jste chtěl odejít jinam?
"Prvním týmem, který se o mě v létě zajímal, byla Borussia Dortmund. A to je pořádný velkoklub! Pak se však do hry vložil Newcastle! Objevila se i nabídka ze Sevilly, ale ta nebyla zdaleka tak konkrétní jako ty dvě zbývající."
Nebylo vám líto opustit Paříž?
"Ale mně se tady líbí! Jistě, Paříž to není, ale místo pro život je to krásné."
Další důvod proč jásat. Ještě něco vás na severozápad Anglie přitahovalo?
"Fakt, že když budu hrát v Newcastlu, tak budu nastupovat i za reprezentaci. Jde o prestižní soutěž s řadou těžkých soupeřů. Mohu se hodně přiučit."
A prodat pak nově nabyté zkušenosti příští rok na EURO?
"Doufám, že se tam kvalifikujeme. Jestli tam můžeme vyhrát? Tak to nevím. Rozhodně ale nejsme v takové pozici jako před stříbrným šampionátem v roce 1996 nebo před minulým mistrovstvím, kdy jsme skončili třetí."
Můžete to změnit…
"Doufám… A doufám taky, že o sobě můžu říct, že jsem stabilním členem základní jedenáctky nároďáku. A chci, aby tomu tak bylo i na mistrovství Evropy."
ORIGINÁL ROZHOVORU Z SUNDAY SUN
Rozhenal is ready to be Prince Albert (ještě neumí napsat jeho jméno pozn. autor)
IN Newcastle's modern-day stripes, foreign centre-halves have enjoyed a chequered reputation.
Some - like Franck Dumas - came, went and barely registered a blip on the radar.
Others, such as Helder, just about held their own.
A few, like Nikos Dabizas, endured long enough to win over most doubters.
But there have been those whose fortunes contrasted like black and white - leaving them local laughing stocks or Geordie heroes for all time.
So while the malingering Marcelino and the swiftly-jettisoned Jean-Alain Boumsong will be cursed through the ages, Philippe Albert remains the toast of Tyneside.
David Rozehnal? He insists he is the next Prince Albert, not another jilted Jean.
Pre-season signs have suggested the Czech's optimism is not misplaced. Like Boumsong, this lad has pace. Unlike Boumsong, he can clearly play football.
But it's Rozehnal's response to the biggest question still posed of him which may inspire most confidence in the 27-year-old.
You may be 6ft 3ins David, but you're built like a jockey on stilts: are you strong enough for the Premiership?
You'd expect a man from a town called Sternberk to meet the enquiry with a withering stare.
Instead, the smile that the likeable, softly-spoken Rozehnal wears almost permanently off the pitch merely turns into a wry grin.
"Well, last year I played 60 games for Paris St Germain," he says. "It was a lot but I was never injured and I felt fine at the end of the season.
"I have heard a lot about the Premier League being a very hard competition - a lot of games during a short time, two cups and sometimes European competition.
"But fitness is the most important thing. When you are comfortable physically, then you are ready for any challenge."
Having Sam Allardyce, as uncompromising a defender as any in his time, as a new manager also tends to focus your mind on the more rudimentary requirements of English football.
But then Allardyce, having been keen to sign Rozehnal for Bolton, obviously sees hidden strength in the Czech Republic's first-choice stopper.
"It's up to me now to concentrate on changing my game to suit football in England and concentrate on the ideas of the coach," Rozehnal admits.
"He (Allardyce) was the most important reason for me to come here, because I heard he wanted to sign me before when he was at Bolton. It's important to be wanted.
"But it was also very exciting for me to show to everybody my quality in the biggest league in the world; to show I am the right man in the right place.
"I hope I work hard enough and do a good enough job during the preparation to be a first-choice in the team.
"It's up to the coach to decide the first XI of course, but I feel better with every game. I will get stronger and stronger and I'll be ready for the first game of the season."
With the Allardyce-built bruisers of Bolton awaiting on the opening day, he'd better be.
But then Rozehnal has another reason to rise to the challenge of the Premiership.
"I've built my position in the Czech Republic national team. I hope I can say I am a first XI player, and I want to continue like that with the European Championships so close.
"If I play here, I'm sure I will continue to play for my country, because this is a big competition, a big club and I'll be playing against a lot of big opponents. It can teach me a lot.
"Hopefully (the Czechs) we will qualify. Can we win? I don't know. We are not in a position like we were when we reached the final in 1996 or the last Europeans when we took third place.
"A lot of good - older, but good - players have finished their international careers and I think we are looking for a new way of playing and to build a new national team.
"The most important thing is to qualify."
First things first though, for the man who began his career at his local club Sigma Olomouc and won the Belgian title with Brugge before joining PSG in 2005.
"Coming to Newcastle is the biggest challenge of my career. I could have stayed in Europe and still definitely played in the European Championships.
"But I think I will become a better player being at Newcastle."
Rozehnal adds: "Borussia Dortmund were the first team to be interested in me this summer, and they are a big club. But then came Newcastle.
"Of course, I knew the coach - as I said, he wanted me before - but also Newcastle are such a big club, with big names and a great history.
"I heard a lot about the city as well. It is famous for being a very friendly place! Of course, it's different from Paris, but I like it.
"The Premier League is a big attraction of course. It's the biggest league in the world without question.
"The last few days before I joined, I heard something about Sevilla as well, but the offer was never as serious as Newcastle or Dortmund.
"I spoke with Petr Cech and other players who have been here as well as my manager; people who know the Premier League well.
"But the most important thing was my own feeling about Newcastle. I liked the challenge."
And Newcastle, despite their perennial troubles in the transfer window and with injuries, have not disappointed.
"I've been very impressed by the standard here. Michael Owen and Mark Viduka have missed pre-season games and we have some injuries, but it's clear we still have great players.
"I don't know what we can achieve this season but I hope I can be a part of it."
Rozehnal started his career as a striker
IF David Rozehnal looks like a centre-half who can play a bit, it is probably because he hasn't always been a centre-half.
And for the same reason, Rozehnal can hopefully read Premiership forwards better than most defenders.
"I was a striker when I started in the game," he reveals. "I only ever dreamed of playing football, and my dreams came true - but not in the way I thought they would."
So when he watched agape as the AC Milan side of the late 80s swept all before them, Rozehnal's idol wasn't Baresi or Maldini.
"My heroes were always Gullit and Van Basten," he says. "Maradona, of course, and Zidane too . . . technical footballers who could score or create goals.
"I think of myself as a defender who can play football. I have good skill."
But Rozehnal realises he hasn't been brought to Tyneside to provide "sexy football".
"My job is to stop goals, not to score them."
Not a true centre-half.
 


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