Muriqi: “My uncle wants me to work because football won’t feed me”


Vedat Muriqi (Pzizren, 04/24/1994) found its place in the world. In Majorcaon the shores of the Mediterranean, where the Kosovo forward became one of the leaders of a team that, after almost relegation in 2022, grew to reach the club’s fourth Copa del Rey final in 108 years.

Four days after meeting him Athletic Club in La Cartuja, Muriqi attend to World of sports and, In a wide-ranging interview, he spoke at length about the evolution of the Javier Aguirrewhich he affectionately refers to as “a character”, his childhood or a hypothetical penalty shootout in Seville.

Below is a preview of this interview which you can read in full this Thursday in the paper edition and on the website of MD.

6 points above relegation, in the Cup final… How would you rate the team’s season today?

It’s my third season here and a lot has changed. Ciudad Deportiva, the way the coach works, another, shorter game… Two years ago we played more directly and now we are starting to have quality players. When you put all these little things together, great things come out. That’s thanks to the president, the CEO, the coach… And the players, of course. We sacrifice a lot to get here.

The last time Mallorca won the Cup you were 9 years old. Can you imagine playing this size?

No, and much less me, who at that age had to work. I never thought that one day I would play in LaLiga, nor would I play in the final with the Mallorca shirt. It’s something I can’t describe in words, it’s something that means a lot to me. I will never forget it.

On several occasions you commented that his uncle laughed when he told him he was going to be a footballer…

In my country, after the war, playing soccer was just a hobby. And he wants me to try to work because football will not give me food. But I sacrificed a lot, I worked a lot, I was also very lucky and in the end I am where I am.

How important is Javier Aguirre for you to sign for Mallorca in 2022?

He came 6-8 games before the end of the season. We almost drowned. He came smiling, very friendly, talking to people… And we started to think that he didn’t know where he came from, because we were immersed. But he, with his way of motivating… And then I never forget the Seville game. We lost to Granada 2-6 at home and he pulled us together there and in his words, he gave us a big slap in the face. And from that moment on, we tied with Sevilla, beat Rayo here and won in Pamplona. He is a character, he is a very important figure for us. When Aguirre is next to you, you always feel like you’re one of them on the field.

He went from saving the team ‘in extremis’ to qualifying it for the cup final. Unbelievable.

He has a lot of experience. There are red lines that he doesn’t want anyone to cross, but he’s also open to renewing himself, to hearing something new… And that’s the most important thing. Many coaches have one tactic and don’t want to hear anything else. But he is not like that. You can talk to him, you can criticize him, because he listens to you. And he has a lot of experience, he has helped a lot and he will continue to help.

Coming back to the Cup, what memory do you have of the Anoeta penalty shootout?

I am 100% sure that we will qualify for the final. When I took the first penalty, from experience or whatever, I was very calm. Every penalty that happened I said to my teammates: ‘We’re in the final, calm down.’ And Martin Valjent told me to keep my mouth shut. I was angry, but I was very confident. And I feel the same way about the finals.

Will you sign to go to penalties in the final?

Yes, definitely. We have great pitchers.

Source: La Verdad


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