Sky Sports activities Information correspondent Paul Gilmore spoke at size to defender Alexandre Dzeko forward of Ghana’s essential sport towards West African rival Nigeria, as he mentioned life on and off the sector.
It’s Strasbourg’s match towards Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 and started a painful battle between top-of-the-line strikers on this planet and the 2 spectacular heart backs of Strasbourg.
In a relentless opening 20 minutes alike Alex Dejeko Mohamed Simakan obtained yellow playing cards for fouls on Kylian Mbappe earlier than he had an opportunity to catch a breath with a break in play.
He checked out me and mentioned I will not end the match. “We’ll be two,” I replied, Dzeko remembers, laughing.
“Mbappe is the strongest opponent I’ve confronted. His velocity is unstoppable.”
Tonight, the 27-year-old shall be in Ghana The staff that’s making an attempt to order its place within the World Cup in Qatar.
A clear sheet in Kumasi made the 0-0 draw with Nigeria forward of the second leg.
“There may be nothing higher in soccer than the World Cup,” Dzeko mentioned Sky Sports activities Information From the coaching camp in Abuja.
“To expertise it might be magical. We do that job to expertise magical moments.”
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Impressed by the likes of Marcel Desailly, Paolo Maldini, and “Sol Campbell’s class” Dzeko’s first recollections of soccer included road events as France gained the World Cup in 1998.
Born in Montpellier, the person often known as ‘Van Deco’, as he’s prized in Strasbourg as a lot as Liverpool for half of his Dutch place, is at a vital level in his profession.
Strasbourg turned down a suggestion from Rennes of £6.75 million, valuing their belongings at practically £12.5 million.
It did not assist that Le Racing had already bought three Defenders, so it appeared an unlikely departure.
That hasn’t stopped different golf equipment from including Djiku’s identify to their needed record earlier than what could possibly be one other summer time of switch speak.
Villarreal are eager to give up themselves to the lack of Pau Torres whereas additionally watching Sevilla rigorously as they count on no less than one departure from Jules Conde or Diego Carlos.
English Premier League ambitions
English golf equipment have additionally proven an curiosity prior to now, however had been involved about the truth that he’s simply shy of six ft.
“I perceive the reservations about my top, as a result of the English sport is simple, however measurement is just one part of successful a fencing.
“There may be additionally the chassis, the timing, the comfort, the anticipation. Additionally, the taller you’re, the much less cellular and fast you’re to cope with quick and technical gamers. I feel 1m 82cm is the precise top for a contemporary central defender.”
The statistics in France this season again his phrases. Solely Sven Putman and Naif Aguirre gained extra Ariel duels, so his top would not cease him from seizing the chance in England.
“I spoke so much with Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey. They’ve loved quite a lot of the Premier League since they’ve been right here. It’s a tremendous league that provides you the chance to specific your self and is commonly a really open sport. It is among the greatest leagues on this planet and it clearly makes you wish to. Experimenting with it in the future.
“The stadiums, the depth of the matches, the well-known boxing day after which the fervour of the followers on this nation is implausible. I feel I’ll really feel very snug there.”
An early love for one of many London groups particularly additionally helped form his relationship with the Premier League.
“In France, we adopted Arsenal’s French gamers with curiosity. They rocked our guys and each weekend we waited to see ‘Invincibles’ on the pitch. It was nice to see Pires, Henry, Vieira and Wiltord taking part in below the management of Arsene Wenger.
“My brother and I favored this staff. On the time they performed on the legendary Highbury Stadium, the place the followers had been near the gamers. That is the type of soccer I like.”
In his spare time, Djiku enjoys wholesome cooking and taking part in chess, and is especially aggressive in desk tennis.
Off the sector, his teammates describe him as a quiet and hard-working household man whereas praising his management, energy and confidence on the sector of play.
In 2023, he made the second greatest interceptions in Europe’s prime 5 leagues halfway by means of the season.
“I admit it is one thing I work on individually with a radical evaluation of my opponent earlier than matches,” he says.
“I’ve a reasonably clear model of play in the beginning of the second half, I wish to have the ball, and to have the ability to clear the sport by discovering my midfielders, or generally straight forwards.
“Technically I am snug with the ball at my ft, which is why my coaches additionally belief me within the midfield, within the position of a recovering midfielder. Right now’s soccer prowess is a energy.”
Partie’s key for Arsenal and Ghana
“His frequent accidents and combined seasons with Arsenal didn’t assist his confidence or his potential to say himself. However that solely made him stronger, he’s a decided participant with a stable thoughts.
“Clearly it helps to have a participant like this in your squad. He’ll enhance and enhance over time and he shall be a key participant in Arsenal and Ghana.”
Dzeko himself needed to strengthen after these setbacks about his top but in addition in a troublesome interval when he suffered a extreme fracture of his arm when taking part in for Claude Makelele at Bastia.
“I needed to be away from the sector for 3 months, it was not straightforward to stay with him, however he strengthened my thoughts.
“I need to admit that I did not have a traditional profession, as a result of I used to be all the time criticized for my lack of top. I needed to get powerful on that side too, not to surrender on my dream of changing into an expert footballer. And I feel I did nicely,” he laughs .
Dejiko would stand tall if he might encourage his nation to succeed in the top of his sport with a win this night.