“They really wanted me”
When Kyriakos Papadopoulos’ loan from Schalke 04 to Bayer Leverkusen became public, there were a lot of surprised faces. In a kicker interview, the defender talks about the reasons for his switch and his goals with his new employer.
Interviews are definitely not one of the strengths of the young Greek, and the 22 year-old has made crystal clear that he is no fan of the spoken word. Nevertheless, he took the time to talk about Leverkusen, Schalke, and himself.
Papadopoulos had an opportunity four years ago to join Leverkusen, but in the end he landed in Schalke. “It was a decision for Schalke, not one against Leverkusen,” explains the interior defender matter-of-factly. But now the time has come for him to try his luck at Bayer. This time he decided on a transfer [to Leverkusen] because everyone at the Werksklub involved in the deal wooed him so actively. “You see, Roger Schmidt really exerted himself to get me, Rudi Voeller also exerted himself for me, and Jonas Boldt as well,” says Papadopoulos. Further, “They really wanted me, and that’s why I wanted to go to Leverkusen.”
There the 1.83 meter-tall defensive specialist wants not only to call attention to himself for the Greek national team, but also to win at least the Champions League play-off matches with Bayer.
And the new number 14 is confident that he will see more action in Leverkusen – the oft-injured player has only played in 14 official matches over the past two years. “It’s true, I played way too little, but now I feel good, I’m ready,” says the man, who is competing with Oemer Toprak, Emir Spahic, and Philipp Wolscheid for a starting position at the center of the defense.
[The rest of the interview will appear in the Monday print edition of kicker magazine. This has been a little appetizer – Neverkusen Crew]