Oblak: "At the beginning I didn't talk to Simeone or anyone"

"He was a boy who arrived new, started with Spanish and did not control him so he could communicate well. He needed more time," he explains.


Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak, today one of the great goalkeepers of the soccer planet and four times winner of the 'Zamora' trophy at least thrashed by LaLiga, did not have an easy start at Atlético de Madrid, where in his first months he "didn't talk to anyone" and He felt "a little lonely and sad."

He arrived at the rojiblanco team in July 2014 with 21 years, after an unfortunate departure from Portuguese Benfica where he did not show up for any training to force the negotiation. Oblak was hired by Atlético in exchange for 16 million euros, a figure at that time very high for a goalkeeper.

With the pressure of the price paid for his arrival and the demand for a substitute for the Belgian Thibaut Courtois, one of the standards of the team that was League champion and finalist of the Champions League the previous year, Oblak suffered an injury in that preseason. right hip, which gave the possibility to the theoretical substitute goalkeeper, Miguel Angel Moy.

"I recognize that the start was a bit complicated. As soon as I got there, I got injured and then Miguel Angel Moyá started playing, doing it very well, everything has to be said, so I stayed on the bench, waiting for my chance. that time I didn't talk much, either with Simeone or with anyone, "explained the Slovenian, five years after that, in an interview with the 'Club del Deportista'.

To make matters worse, the debut of the Central European goalkeeper could not be less fortunate: he started on the first day of the Champions League, in Athens against the Greek Olympiakos, and received three goals, for the 3-2 defeat of the mattress set. He would not play again until six months later.

"He was a boy who arrived new, started with Spanish and did not control him to be able to communicate well. He needed more time. Besides, he began to hear the first doubts about me. I found myself a little lonely and sad, so I dedicated myself to work and wait for my chance, "Oblak recalled.

With Moyá setting a great season in the red and white goal, the opportunity for Oblak came at a time as unexpected as relevant: the return of the Champions League round of 16 against Bayer Leverkusen at the Vicente Calderón stadium.

Atlético reached the resolution of the crossing with a 1-0 adverse on German lands, and 20 minutes later Moyá noticed a puncture in the thigh in a race of a few meters. Virtually unheated, Oblak jumped on the grass. The rojiblancos matched the tie seven minutes later with a goal from Mario Suarez, but failed to score second that would give him the classification.

After the added time, the penalty shootout came: Raúl García failed first, but Oblak responded by clearing Bayer's first, launched by Turkish-German Hakan Calhanoglu. The subsequent failures of the Turkish Ömer Toprak and the German Stefan Kiessling would pass to the quarterfinals at Atlético, with the Slovenian goalkeeper raised to the category of Salvador.

"I knew that I only needed the opportunity to grab it with both hands and prove to everyone that I was wrong," the goalkeeper reflected today, stabilized as one of the best in the world in his position and with the key ring in the Athletic scheme

A rojiblanco team that after last season lost a great part of the key pieces of the last courses, such as the French striker Antoine Griezmann, the Uruguayan defender Diego Godín, the Brazilian Filipe Luis or the Spanish Juanfran Torres, casualties that lead the goalkeeper to ask "time to build a new group" .

"There have been many changes, and it takes time to build a new group. A new and solid base, because the one you have had the last seven years you no longer have. And the beginnings, as happened to me, can be complicated, difficult "

However, Oblak is optimistic about how Atlético can end the season. "I think that Simeone and we are all doing a very good job to make a strong block, and I have no doubt that things will go from less to more and we will end where we want to finish"; added

A rojiblanco team that, today, does not spend its best moment, after breaking a streak of four games without winning and three without scoring on Wednesday winning the Russian Moscow Lokomotiv (2-0), a victory that allows him to access the eighths of Champions League Final

"This season is a bit more complicated because of the changes we have had, but we are playing good football and surely at the end of the season it will surprise, for good, how we are going to end. I have no doubt about my teammates. On the contrary, I have a lot of faith in them, "the Slovenian goalkeeper said flatly.

With the label of shy and reserved, Oblak says that it is not "tanserio as people think" and aims to add more titles to the European League and the two Super Cups (of Spain and Europe) that he has obtained so far in Atlético, as he considers that he has not achieved on the pitch everything he would like.

"I have not achieved everything that I would like, and that is why I am not satisfied, but I have no doubt that at the end of my career I will be. I know I will get much more," said Slovenian goalkeeper of Atlético de Madrid, a star who knew how to overcome a hard start in the rojiblanco team



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