Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Gai: "I believe one day I'll reach the first team"

Barcelona Atlètic wing attacker and Israel youth international Gai Assulin (18) gave an interview to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

(pre-info: gai last week didn't take part in a qualifying game for the u-21 European championships against Bulgaria.)

Could you explain us why you decided not to join your international teammates?
It was a complicated and hard decision, which I made together with my familiy and especially my father. My decision not to join the national team was for professional reasons only. I had to prepare for the pre-season training with Barcelona which starts in mid-July the best way I could, which means taking time off, rest my body, cleaning my head and disconnect from football.

Last year I didn't prepare well and was late to the beginning of the training because of the trouble I've encountered with the Israeli army, and it hurt me a lot later that season. My preperation was not good and I suffered a troubling injury. I knew this time I must learn from my mistakes. This time I wanted to rest and not burden myself with physical overload and again start the pre-season in a bad way.

I apologize mainly for the way I declared I won't join. Instead of talking directly with the coach Motti Ivanir, I spoke with the team manager. I made a mistake because I know how much of a great coach Motti is, but first he is a great person. I'm sure if it was directly with him, he would understand me. I explained the people in the team that if I arrive to the training camp it would be hard for me with the preparations in Barcelona and will hurt my professional future there.

I love the national team very much and I even called before the game to wish them luck and tell Motti I would very much like to be with the team in the next game in September. But today I would make the same decision, just in another way, directly with the coach. I'm sorry mainly for that. I have no doubt any player would make the same decision I did if he was in my place. My professional future in Barcelona is important for me.

In fact, you put your own interest ahead of the national interest.
Only people in my situation can understand me. My life is in Barcelona, I'm a Barcelona player, I live and breath the football there, and I don't live in Israel. I'm aware of the criticism against me, as if I prefered my personal future over the national mission. It's justified. It sounds egocentric, but yes, first and formost I think of my future in Barcelona.

Motti already said he would recommend to ease with you and not to punish you, are you worried about the Israeli Football Association decision?
I really have no idea what the IFA will decide. I really hope they will ease on me and won't suspend me, because I love the national team. Motti was dissapointed of me, and rightly so. He was dissapointed by my handling and the way I announced that I wouldn't come. I know he was dissapointed because many kids at home see me as a role model and this is not the example I should have given them. But one must understand it was a very complicated decision and one that is hard to understand.

You are preparing for another season with Barca Atletic or are there plans to integrate you in the senior team next season already?
In two weeks I will be notified with my situation towards next season. I might spend another year in Barca Atletic, I am not rejecting the idea. Whatever the club will decide, I will accept and handle. As far as I'm concerned I will do everything to get to the senior team. This is the biggest club in the world and my dream is to play in it.

I have no thoughts of leaving for another team, whether it is to toughen up or gain experience. I'm staying in Barcelona, even if it means I will play another year with Barca Atletic. I hope very much to reach the first team and I believe one day it will happen. I wish.

Until then, you still have problems with the Israeli army, who insists to draft you.
Everything army related, my father does not share with me. He takes care of it and disconnects me from all those issues, so my head will focus only on football. I have no idea where we stand. I guess that if some problems pop-up, I will know about them, but for now my father does not involve me.

translation: Dan R

Read more:
A portrait of Gai Assulin
Gai to start next season with first team
Barça B: Gai will get Spanish nationality soon


Noder said...

That was Very interestin' 2 read. THANKS DAN!

Dan R said...

Just a few remarks, and not to start a political debate, i beg you, it's just so you know a little bit more about his situation.

In Israel, there is a law stating that every person (Male or Female) must draft to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) when he reaches the age of 18 (Not exactly, sometimes before, sometimes after - because of school) for a period of 3 Years (Females 2) . Lately there was a case of former Chelsea player and recently local rival Espanyol signing Ben Sahar, who turned 18 while in England.

A new law called, surprisingly, "The Ben Sahar Law" was invented, which states that a professional athlete who represents the country but is not living in Israel, can do his service abroad by various activities such as explaining about Israel, working with Jewish people and such...

Gai, who recently turned 18 is obliged to draft to the IDF, and when he was in Israel he was regarded as a deserter and held up in the Airport, with a warrant preventing him from leaving the country, which caused him to be late to the training camp with the team. But he will most probably go under the Ben Sahar law.

Mihawk said...

Promote him and Thiago, they are Atletic's greatest talents right now!

Mihawk said...

As far as I remember there was a deal between Gai and the IDF which freed Gai from his obligations, if he decided to play for Israel.

pique said...

Gai is a poor man's Babangida!

sashi said...

sounds totally desperate to prove himself in the senior team. deserves to have a go at it. he must know tat there are lot of ppl who know him n who have hopes on him. hope he lives up to it all.

barca4life said...

Gai forget about the national team, Barcelona is your life, who loves you, the team that raised you or the place that wants to arrest you?

SamitierFCB said...

I hope Guardiola gives him a chance this year. As far as I know, Guardiola was very proud of both Gai and Thiago last year. If FCB doesn't sign a left-winger he could have some chances.

hieifcb said...

those r strong words comming out out Gai's mouth, he's got alot of Barca in him =D

Leo10 said...

The next messi easily, promote him pep!

ej said...

maybe we just dont sign any players and let our youth players chance to play .

i have the feeling that even if we wont sign any player we may beat RM.

and if this happen believe me RM will be destroyed because we didnt spend anything and they spend like idiots.

but if we sign we should learn the right players to sign.

VILLA for example is a very very very very bad choice, you just need to learn a player cost :
how much u spend on him - how much you get for him after he leaves .

i will give you this example:

Villa sign for 4 years

cost 55 M

after 4 years he is 32 and will be too slow for attack we must sell him then and we wont get more than 10 M

so he cost us : 55-10= 45 M Euro
it means 45/4 = 11.25 M pro year

Aguero other hand may cost us
he can play 6 years

will be then 28 we may sell him then because he would have won everything with barca , at 28 he still briung us 30-35 M

so cost 60-35 = 25 !!
25/6 = 4.2 M pro Year

so signing aguero will be almost 30% cost as signing villa .

something else i have very big feeling argentina will do wonder in the WC (i know they are sucking big this days) and as i know aguero he wiull be the one who will shoot argentina in the finals .
so selling shirt will give us more...

Blaugrana1 said...

Very good player, quick feet and great vision for goal.
Gai Assulin, forget about the israili national team !

Aussie Barca Fan said...

Gai is a STAR of the future. He is an excellent prospect and deserves his opportunity to shine. I also agree that Thiago should be promoted. Give these kids a chance, there will be many games this season.

NouBarca said...

quote of the day.

Cesc said: "Of course my family would understand if I signed for Real Madrid because they love me, they want me to be happy and what is best for me. They'd support me - whichever club I joined. My family will always be there for me - whatever decision I make.

"They're the ones who are always by my side."

Barcelona have also been linked with a move to recapture the prodigal son who fled home as a teenager.

Curiously, Fabregas admitted it would be a difficult dilemma if he had to choose between Real and Barca but confessed he is proud to be aware of their interest in him.

He added: "At the moment it's not happened so I don't have to choose. For any player it gives great pride that those two clubs come to sign him. It would be a difficult choice."

source: the sun

Mahi said...

Yes ej you are correct.
Best way is spent 60 mil and sign Aguero and renew Eto'o for 3 or 4 years. We can buy Benzema next year and by that time he gain more experience and sell Eto'o or keep him one more year to set Benzema with team. Then Aguero and Bojan both can play as CF and as LW in rotation with Benzema as main CF.

OLALEKAN said...

oh my God,ca u guys hear this great guy? "my life is with barca,i live and breath the football of barca,and barca is my home"just sound amazinlly and thgank God he has assured us that he will not leave even if he will play another year with the athletic.but i hope he is promoted,he is an extremelly real talent.I LOVE GAI.

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