Interview

Back in the game

Dejan Kulusevski sits down with Champions Journal to discuss Harry Kane, Antonio Conte and how he’s fallen in love with football all over again

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

Back in the game
Interview

Back in the game

Dejan Kulusevski sits down with Champions Journal to discuss Harry Kane, Antonio Conte and how he’s fallen in love with football all over again

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

What are your hopes for Tottenham in the Champions League this year?

We haven’t been there for a few years but I’m looking forward to playing at our home ground in the best tournament in the world. I believe in my team and I believe we can go far. The only thing that can stop us is ourselves, so we will do our best and then we’ll see.

The last time you played in the competition was with Juventus. How do you reflect on your time in Italy?

I grew up in Sweden, had a great life and many friends, but I wanted to leave that safety and challenge myself, so I went to Italy and met a lot of difficulties there. Living in another country without my parents changed me as a person off the pitch, but also on it. I got incredible training from Atalanta, then Parma and later Juventus. They’re different clubs but I got so much valuable experience which made me into a man. And now I’m here and have incredible experience behind me.

And now you play for another former Juventus man, Antonio Conte. What’s that like?

He teaches us all to play with much more personality, to make mistakes and play like winners. Sure, football should be fun but we also play to win – and he is a true winner. Every day when he’s coaching I listen to him intently, to every run-through, to everything that he says, because I can learn so much from him.

What’s it like playing alongside Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son?

I know exactly what they’re about to do almost all the time. They’re incredible players so sometimes they pull out something you’ve never seen before, but 90 per cent of the time I know what they will be doing and I’m prepared for that. I’ve played in so many different positions in my life but the position I play in now is where I’ve had my best results in football. It’s a position that I like and that enables me to score many goals and get many assists, so it’s definitely a position that I like.

What is it about your current position that you enjoy so much?

I like to play on the right because I see the whole pitch in front of me; I see all my opponents, team members and the goal. If I were to describe myself I’d say I’m a guy who loves playing football, who wants to have a lot of time on the ball so I can help my team score.

Have other players inspired you in this position?

Arjen Robben played a lot on the left, cut inside and played for a long time, so he’s one. Eden Hazard is a favourite player of mine and I look at a lot of his movements, how he handles the ball and how he tricks opponents. So I look at many different players.

Speaking of inspiration, you’re a big basketball fan. What do you take from other sports into your own game?

I don’t know, it’s a good question. It’s the first time I’ve heard that. I think basketball is a lot of fun to watch. It’s a bit different as it’s five v five so they have the ball much more, but what I take from basketball are the clutch moments. When there’s just a little bit of time left on the clock and you have to make the right decision. You have so little time, just enough for one decision, which makes it so important to make the right one. I always think that a particular decision that I make has the potential to change a game.

Have you noticed large improvements to your game since joining Tottenham?

It’s made me fall in love with football again. Tottenham has really made me grow, absolutely; made me physically stronger. There are better training sessions, so I’ve been lucky to get to play at this type of club with the trainers that we have. I’ve not been here for so long, only seven or eight months, but it feels like I’m really at home. So it’s a club that I want to be at and I wouldn’t want to be at any other.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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