Cavani: I want to score goals for the fans
Talk turned to goals - and a couple of legendary Manchester United goalscorers - during the second part of our world-exclusive interview with our new signing Edinson Cavani.
Over to you, Edinson...
“Yes, I had a conversation with the manager, and to be truthful that also really encouraged me to come to United. I think it’s always very positive for a player when you have the backing of the manager. Currently I’m busy training at home, as I’m complying with the rules and staying in quarantine after coming into the country. So yes, as I said before, I’m champing at the bit and keen to be able to get started, training with my team-mates, just as soon as I can. And with that, make myself available for the manager.”
Could you give us a few snippets of what was said in your conversation with him? Any piece of advice or anything he said in particular?
“We spoke a bit about the mental side of things, and a little about how you can go about preparing for each game, about what it is to compete, about what is important within a group, and you could say that we agreed strongly on a lot of the things we spoke about and discussed. Things like self-sacrifice, commitment to your team-mates, creating a competitive spirit, and thinking of others, and competing altogether. All things that I really like and appreciate, I believe that when you pretty much agree on things like this and think in a similar way, I reckon it also makes you want to join a club even more, and to then give your best, train hard and prepare yourself in the best way you can.”
“I hope so! I hope I can score plenty, and I’ll be working hard towards doing that. As I said earlier, I’m coming here with a real desire to work hard and to prepare, and to be available for my team-mates and to the manager for selection. I want to be able to take all that effort and hard work out onto the pitch, and together be able to achieve great things, big things with Manchester United. I’m so keen and excited to get playing and competing again, and God willing, I can score goals, which is pretty important for everybody and also for me, as a striker. For the fans, for everyone. So, as I said, I'm dying to start training so I can be ready to be scoring goals, so we can all enjoy them and have some good times together.”
You’re a goalscorer but it’s also been said that you are the ultimate team player. Is that how you consider yourself?
“Yes, I see myself as a team player. I’m the first one to believe that we all need each other’s help. And that always, when you work as a team, you can make it easier to succeed and to achieve your objectives. I don’t think there’s anything greater than being able to run hard for your team-mate or being able to do stuff for your team-mate. Or being able to help each other out or being able to make that run for your team-mate when they need it and only you are available to do it. Because for me, the end result of all this is getting the victory, that’s when we can all enjoy it. I like this way of thinking, and that’s how I live the game of football. For me that’s what the game is all about, it’s a combination of different things blended together as one; and for that there has to be team spirit out on the pitch, there has to be commitment, and well, that’s what I try to do. As a striker I often have to convert chances, by finishing off a move. And sometimes I can miss. Because on occasions, we strikers can have the entire goal at our mercy, but we can mess up. But equally, my thoughts and beliefs have always been the same as I mentioned before, thinking of the group as a whole, playing as a team and winning altogether.”
“Look, I don’t think that there’s any better advice than simply working hard on a football pitch or in a training session. Because you don’t win any game by just turning up and walking out on the field. You start to win the game during the training sessions, you start to win the game by how you prepare for it. For that you need to start working before the game in the days leading up to it. I think you can sometimes, through your ability, demonstrate certain things by example, without even needing to speak. But I think this can depend on each individual and the desire that they have to grow and improve as a player and how much they really want to win and to compete. I’m coming here to do my very best, as I told you, and I’m here to offer a little bit of my experience to the squad, to the manager, and I’m ready and willing to do the very best I can, and to give the best that I can give. So that’s kind of my aim as I arrive here, very keen to make myself available to my team-mates. After that it depends on each individual, what they want to take on board and what they want to leave alone. That’s a bit like how I see football.”
Robin van Persie wrote on Twitter that he felt United ought to sign you. How do you feel knowing that you have the support of a legend like him?
“These are the kind of pleasant things that football can give you. When a players of that ilk and players of that quality within the game, give you a… how can I put it, make a comment, or express their opinion about me and speak in those terms. I thanked him the first time he’d spoken about me, I thanked him on social media. And he replied to me and also showed his kindness, his appreciation and his admiration as a footballer. These are the nice things that come out of football, that you take on board, and they are useful to you as motivation for what lies ahead.”
Look out for the third and final part of our world-exclusive Edinson Cavani interview on ManUtd.com and in the Official App on Sunday afternoon.
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