Ocampos recalls the passions of the derby, reveals his best friends in Sevilla and his future plans

The Argentine winger regrets missing the second leg against West Ham and assures that, after having a very bad time with his ankle, he feels at his best in form

The Sevilla F.C. travels to London this Wednesday to face the match of second leg of the UEFA Europa League round of 16at the Olympic stadium in the English capital and in front of the West Ham Uniteda team installed in the upper part of the Premier and which Julen Lopetegui’s men defeated 1-0 (Munir’s goal) in the first leg match played last week at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. The clash in Nervión, however, ended with very bad news: the yellow card he saw Lucas Ocampos in a slight tangana in added time that carries a sanction and forces him to miss a clash that, as he explained, catches him at his “best moment” after having had a hard time with his ankle for many months.

Ocampos regretted not being able to play and add to his team’s already extensive list of casualties. The Argentine winger was invited to the program ‘A Set Piece’from Sevilla FC Television and assured that he will have a bad time watching the clash on television: “When these things happen to me, like with the derby, I suffered because they are crucial games that anyone likes to play. They leave and I stay here alone, surely the guys who don’t travel will get together to see it with them “.

“When you are looking at something that is in your interests, it is difficult to manage it, It will not be easy since nothing is closed, but I am going to death with my colleagues since I see the competitiveness that exists. The dressing room is 10, there is always some difference but they are the ones that make you grow as a player and as a group, they have all been adapting to Lopetegui’s philosophy”, he added in this sense, elevating his coach as that glue that always holds the pineapple together.

Ocampos has spent a very difficult last year, far from his full physical form due to an ankle injury that had not completely disappeared and that at the slightest blow to the affected area forced him to stop again. Everything has changed as of 2022, the year in which he has started playing everything, scoring important goals and assisting his teammates. The best version of Sevilla FC’s ‘5’ has returned and is here to stay. “I almost never project into the distant future, I always go day by day because football is like that. Now I am in a very good moment, I rediscovered myself and I want to continue being part of this club and fighting for goals like since the first year I arrived”he pointed out, assuring that his present and his future are in Nervión.

The one from Quilmes, whose good moment has allowed him return to the Argentine national team after staying ‘in extremis’ out of the definitive list for the Copa América won last summer, he believes that it would not be possible to perform like this without the support of the fans. “The fans of Sevilla FC are very particular within what is in Spain, there are few who feel that way. The other day I saw what David Moyes said (the West Ham coach praised the Nervión fans after the first leg) and it’s true, there are times when the team needs that air and they give it to you. When the anthem is sung it is something impressivepeople experience it as something of their own,” he said with emotion.

Without being able to play in the Europa League, Ocampos already thinks about LaLiga and in the clash next Sunday at the Sánchez-Pizján against the Real societya “complicated” game in which Sevilla FC cannot allow themselves the luxury of losing more points, after the draw in Vallecas (1-1)in the seventh consecutive start without winning that has made the Real Madrid is ahead of him by 10 points and Barcelona threatens his second place after getting to only five and with one game less.

“Assimilating those points left in Madrid and already thinking about what is to come, because there is no time to regret. Sometimes it’s hard for me, there are decisions with which one may or may not agree, but you have to know how to manage situations because you want to win and you’re playing a lot,” Ocampos reflected.

The Sevilla winger also had emotional moments and surprises, such as the messages from Nolito and Franco Vázquezwhom he misses a lot, or a special connection with Éver Banegaone of the best friends that football has given him and with whom he maintains a relationship despite the distance, since the midfielder left for Saudi Arabia two years ago. Pure passion, Ocampos does not forget the sensations of his first duel against Real Betis with the public: “My first derby, with a very special goal in a packed stadium. Now I live them totally differently, I’m not Navas or Rakitic, but I feel it for what it is. I believe a lot in the folklore of football, I believe in that healthy pique…”.

As for the last cainite duel -in the League, at home and revenge for the Copa elimination and the attack on Jordán- he was very happy with the goal scored by Munir Elhaddadiwho put the momentary 2-0 after Rakitic opened the penalty marker and before Sergio Canales, from a direct free kick, closed the gap in added time: “In the derby we were very happy for Munir, who had to score a goal in a special match like the derby. He is always engaged and we are happy for him“.