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Sergio Asenjo (31 years old, Palencia) is one of the heavyweights of the locker room Villarreal and one of the ‘culprits’ of the great start to the season that the’ yellow submarine is signing. The goalkeeper has not had it easy in his career. Serious injuries have taken him off the pitch, but now he is experiencing a great individual and collective moment.
Villarreal occupies the highest positions in the classification of The league and he only has the mole of defeat on him Camp Nou in front of Barcelona. Good performance in the domestic championship and also in the Europa League, and now, after the selection break, it’s time to play again every three days.
The Palencia has conceded nine goals so far in the league, leaving his clean sheet in three of the nine games he has played. THE SPANISH He has been able to speak with a Sergio Asenjo who reflects his enthusiasm for a season that can be very good for him both on a team and personal level. “Now that we are there among the best, what we have to do is keep working,” says the goalkeeper.
The next challenge for Asenjo is the match against him Real Madrid. Trust the options of Villarreal Emery, although he has a squad “made to win everything” in front of him. “We are at the best time to face a Real Madrid that will surely want to compensate for that defeat at Mestalla,” says Sergio.
How are you doing at the beginning of the season?
The truth is that very well. With a change of coach and coaching staff, working at the start of the season to gain the confidence of the coach. And well, we are up there in La Liga, so everything is very good, really.
The break was complicated, then a shorter vacation than usual and a new season with important changes. Villarreal seems to have taken an important step forward this year.
Whenever there is a change in the coaching staff, there is a kind of uncertainty about how the team will acclimatize, but from the first day with the coach everything went well, the squad is very involved, a very competitive squad has been formed. And the important thing is that we are making a very good group personally, so then in sports it is the daily work.
Legends like Bruno or Cazorla have left the team, but Villarreal has signed very well, how do you see this new project with Emery at the helm?
Yes, that’s it. The changes that took place in summer, the departure of our captain, Santi also made the decision to leave Spain and, well, those little doubts about how the season is going to start, but with Unai everything was clear and the work has been very good . We worked a lot in preseason so that the start of La Liga was optimal and it has been. I don’t think we expected to be that high either. Now that we are among the best, what we have to do is keep working.
A Kubo also arrived that is in the process of adaptation. They have high expectations in it and there is great media attention, how do you see him?
The truth is that I did not know him personally. It has adapted perfectly. A young boy, who is very excited to make his way in the First Division, always ready for anything, with a smile. The coach has already said it, there will be minutes for everyone. There are many games, three competitions and we need everyone. Kubo is an important player, a different player, with a long way to go, but the best thing is that he entered with enthusiasm, with enthusiasm and predisposed to give his best.
The truth is that Villarreal is getting results, but above all convincing on the field. This start has awakened illusion, is that also noticeable in the dressing room?
Man, the illusion of seeing us up is important. I think that, above all, you have to keep your feet on the ground, but seeing yourself up there, in those positions … But you have to continue with the mentality and humility of Villarreal, with the daily work and go to each game as if it were the last one, which is what we are doing. Working and fighting the 90 minutes, and with our arguments go for every weekend.
The objective that you have now set is to enter those European positions, but this League seems more disputed than ever in years, do you think you can give the bell?
It is true that the squad is very competitive. The coach is counting on everyone, both in Europe and in La Liga there are a lot of rotations and the team does not notice it, we are taking the games forward. But we are in November, we are up there with Real Sociedad and Atlético de Madrid, because this right now is anecdotal, but it reinforces you in the work you have to do every day.
It is easier to see you there with the best than as it has been in other years, we have had to suffer a lot. This has to motivate us, but the road is very long, it is a race that has just begun and we will see everything this month and a half until Christmas. With a very tough schedule, loaded with games and when Christmas is over it will be when we will see how far this Villarreal can go.
You haven’t lost since September. The game against Barça was difficult for you, but since then you have maintained a streak of seven wins and two draws.
It is clear that that first part at the Camp Nou was a turning point. Pride hurt us. We had the illusion to get something positive from the Barça field, but things did not turn out. From there, the team threw in hard work, pride and humility to give the maximum every day and the truth is that the streak is impeccable, and we must follow this same line.
And now Real Madrid …
Now comes Real Madrid, a very complicated game with a squad made to fight for everything and, well, we do have the desire that after that game in Barcelona in which things did not work out, now do a full game. We will use our weapons, but always respecting that we are facing a squad made to win everything, with many of the best players in the world.
Real Madrid could reach La Cerámica with significant casualties.
We are not going to plan the game depending on the players that Madrid is going to serve. We are going to plan our game, with the players that the coach believes can get the best performance. And yes, from there, because the truth is that it is a shame that some players may be injured or suffering from Covid, but many of us are going to go through it and we do not have to give it more lapses. The game will be very difficult whoever comes out. But it is true that if more common players do not come out, others will come out who want to show that they can be there, so it will be a very difficult game for sure.
Criticism is raging against Real Madrid and Zidane. All the controversy that took place in Mestalla … From the outside, how do the rivals see the white team?
We, or I, who have been at Villarreal for many years, because we have already faced Real Madrid many times. There have been times when they were going through a negative streak, other times when La Liga was being played … The truth is that you never know when is the best time to face them.
What I am very clear about is that we are in a good moment. We are at the best moment to face a Real Madrid that will surely want to compensate for that defeat at Mestalla. The game will be complicated, you don’t know which Madrid you are going to face, but it is clear that they will want the points to be as high as possible at the end of the year in the La Liga classification.
You trust your style and the positive dynamics, do you already know how to deactivate Real Madrid?
It is clear that these weeks of break are difficult, but hey, between Thursday and Friday we have to finalize the details for Saturday’s game and arrive as well as possible. But yes, if details need to be finalized it will be between Thursday and Friday, which will be when the entire squad is already complete. The coach will make an approach to face Madrid.
You are already a veteran of La Liga. You have gone through very complicated situations due to injuries, but you are in a great moment, do you have sane for a while?
I think that those bad moments that I have had in my career make that today I value things much more, that I enjoy as if I were a 20-year-old boy. At 31 years old and as a goalkeeper, I think I have many years left to continue enjoying it. Hopefully the physicist respects me, that the injuries respect me, and I will do all the work that I can do my best so that you can see the best Asenjo you can see. But it is clear that I am enjoying this stage with the coach a lot and I hope that a fantastic year will come out for everyone and, personally, that the best possible Asenjo will be seen.
Your contract ends in 2022, is there a negotiation on the table to extend your relationship with Villarreal?
On my own it will not stay. I already feel part of the house, I have been here for eight years and we have lived great moments together. It is clear that if the day comes to sit down to negotiate, it will surely be solved quickly. But now we are focused on the season and hopefully that time will come and we can fix this. I am very happy here, I have acclimatized to how it is lived here, I am very comfortable and very comfortable. I feel very involved in how football is carried out in this house and hopefully, hopefully, sooner or later everything can be solved and I can stay.
At present, you are one of the fittest Spanish goalkeepers on the scene and this 2021 is the year of the European Championship. Luis Enrique said that he had four goalkeepers at the moment, but with your good performances, do you see yourself with options to be among the chosen ones?
What I really want is for him to respect my physique and health, although it is clear that in life you have to have goals. I have been lucky to be able to be in a call for the National Team and make my debut. You have to work very hard, always respect the teammates who are going and try to make it difficult for the coach because that is what will make Spain’s goal more competitive and be as well defended as possible. I hope I can have a great year personally and as a group with Villarreal, and that can open up the option of the national team’s goal.
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