When Daniel Wass is asked about the best Manchester City footballer, he doesn’t hesitate for a second.right away the belgian Kevin deBruynewhom he also considers the “best midfielder in the world at the moment”, whom he says “has everything” and with whom he will face this Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals in the English city.
In an interview with the agency EfeHe talks about the British team and the challenge that awaits them in the highest European competition, a duel between “two great teams”, in which “everything is possible”; of the two months that he accumulates in Atlético, after his arrival in the last January market; of “bad luck” for the injury suffered (a sprain of the internal lateral ligament of the right knee on February 6 against Barcelona), of his understanding with Simeone when he urged him to re-enter the field of play because he thought it was just a blow and of the “dream” that playing for the rojiblanco team means for him.
Last January, Atlético knocked on his door. I had chosen him as Trippier’s replacementTransferred at his own request to Newcastle. Daniel Wass played for Valencia, with whom he ended his contract at the end of this season. At the age of 32, the opportunity arose to sign for the rojiblanco team.
-What does your signing for Atlético mean?
-It’s a dream to be here in a great club that always plays in the Champions League and is always fighting at the top of the league as well. It is a dream for me to play here.
-What did you think when you got the call from Atlético?
-Not much, because I was at home with Covid, with the whole family. I was at home for ten days, but happy when you get a call from Atlético that they want to sign you. I am happy to play here.
-Was it difficult to convince Valencia that it was time to leave?
-Of course. In the January market it is always difficult. And it was also in the last week, also in January, that things get more difficult. But to thank Valencia for giving me this opportunity to leave and here I am happy.
-How were those conversations with Bordalás and with the club?
-Not only spoke with Bordalás. I spoke with the club, with the general director, with the president, with Corona (sports director) as well, with my teammates, with the captains… Private conversations.
-What has caught the attention of Atlético?
-Atlético was everything I expected. I know it’s a great club, in a great city too, and also with great international players and a great coach. I know that it is a team that plays with a lot of intensity.
-Is it easy to adapt at Atlético?
-Yes. It’s a very good outfit. A very familiar club and locker room. It has been very easy. In addition, I already knew people in the squad and it has been quite easy.
How is Simeon? Is he as expected?
-That’s what I expected. He asks for a lot of intensity and wants the best for everyone and for the team in each training session. What he expects from the team and from each player is that they give one hundred percent when they enter the field.
-Do you notice Simeone’s tactical demands? Do you change much from your previous teams to Atlético?
-Of course. It is always difficult to come to a club, because there are new teammates, a new style of playing, but little by little I am learning how to play, although when you come in January, there is not much time. I was also unlucky and got injured in the first game.
-Have you thought about that injury a lot?
-It was bad luck. He was also a former teammate (at Valencia), Ferran. It was bad luck. An entry without intention to injure me. I know Ferran, he is a good person and it was bad luck.
-Then there was a lot of talk in the media about how Simeonele insisted that he enter the field of play when he was being treated by the medical services. How do you value it?
-In the game things went very fast and I understand Simeone, because he thought it was a blow, he doesn’t know me very well and he tells me to come in because we just scored a goal and he is very much into the game, he wants to win and I understand who thought it was a hit.
-How did you experience the recovery process? Are you well enough to enter the competition?
-Yes. It’s a fucking injury, because it’s to the ligament, but I’ve already trained with the team for a week and I’m fine now.
Now it’s time to pick up the pace…
-Now, of course, to pick up the pace, the ‘timing’ and all things like that. Physically I’m fine and now I’m getting into the rhythm in training and in games. I only lack the rhythm of matches.
-Have you perceived the special sensation that the Champions League awakens in Atlético?
-The team and the club want to win everything, they want to win every game and the goal is to win every game. Every game is special, especially the Champions League. Now we are in the quarterfinals and we want to continue with the good run we are on (six consecutive wins in the League and seven wins in their last eight official games since the 0-1 defeat against Levante). They are very difficult games, but everything is possible.
-What is your opinion of Manchester City?
-It is one of the best teams in the world, it has great players and it is a team that plays very well, but we are two great teams that are going to face each other and anything is possible.
-Which player would you highlight?
-City’s best player is De Bruyne. He is the best midfielder in the world at the moment. He is a very good player. He has everything. I have played against him several times in the national team, with Denmark against Belgium, and I think he is a complete central midfielder.
-What assessment do you make of Denmark’s rivals in the World Cup draw (France, Tunisia and the winner of the intercontinental playoff between Australia or the United Arab Emirates and Peru)?
-I think that each game is difficult, each team that is in a World Cup is good, but we with Denmark reached the semifinal of the European Championship last year and we have a very good team. A young team. And Eriksen also returns. We have good opportunities to have a good World Cup.
-I was talking about Eriksen. How have you experienced your return to football?
-I’m very happy for him. It has been very important for him to play football again. I am very happy to see that he is playing phenomenally at Brentford and with the national team as well.