Former Barcelona youth player Dani Olmo has told bundesliga.com that he feels fully vindicated by his decision to join RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb.
The one-time Spain international midfielder now has his sights on silverware for club and, potentially, country...
bundesliga.com: Why did you choose to join Leipzig?
Dani Olmo: "I had other offers, yeah, but the offer Leipzig made, the project here, they gave me the confidence from day one. And the coach convinced me that it was the best option and the best place to continue."
bundesliga.com: Tell us more about being part of RB Leipzig...
Olmo: "RB Leipzig is a club that work every day to improve, both my teammates and the whole club is motivated to keep growing every day. It’s a young club, with players with lots of potential and lots of quality. I think that helps us get better every day. Leipzig was a project that my family and I liked a lot, it was very attractive, and that’s why we’re here, that’s why I’m here. I’ve barely been here a month, so it’s time to really get started. There’s a lot of time and a lot of work ahead of me."
bundesliga: So how's it been working with Julian Nagelsmann?
Olmo: "It’s good. We communicate well. He talks to the players a lot, tactics, if there are things you don’t understand you can talk to him. There’s no problem. The results show it's working. At the end of the day, we’re a team who’s up there thanks to the coaching staff, the coach and his team. So I think the results speak for themselves."
bundesliga.com: What was it like making your full Bundesliga debut against Werder Bremen?
Olmo: "It was my first start in the Bundesliga, no, at home I mean. My first start at home. It was a really nice game, we won 3-0 and I got an assist for Patrik [Schick] from a corner. I’m happy for that, and for the win, it was a nice game."
bundesliga.com: Have you always liked the Bundesliga?
Olmo: "Yes, I’ve always liked the league. I’ve always liked the quality, the competitiveness, the stadiums, the fans and the way they follow football. It’s a dream for me to be here."
bundesliga.com: How does it compare to playing in Croatia and Spain?
Olmo: "Football in Croatia is different. It isn’t the same level of Spain or Germany, but it’s a league with lots of young players, physically strong players, and Spain and Germany have teams at a world-class level. They’re two of the best leagues in Europe and in the world. So yeah, this jump is very important for me to keep improving."
bundesliga.com: What are looking to improve about your game?
Olmo: "Lots of things. I’m young and I have a lot of room to improve. I want to improve a lot of things: my aggression, my shot, my aerial ability. I think I can improve a lot."
Watch: Skip to 00:37 to see Olmo's debut Bundesliga assist against Bremen
bundesliga.com: What are your goals for the season?
Olmo: "I want to settle in here, completely adapt to the team and my teammates. I want to play here and have a chance to play in the Euros."
bundesliga.com: Next up you face top-four rivals Bayer Leverkusen...
Olmo: "They're a very good team, a very complete team with young and talented players. They’re a direct rival, so it will be a very tough game, but the good thing is that we’re playing at home with our fans, and we’ll give everything to try and take all three points."
bundesliga.com: Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga - can you win the title?
Olmo: "We have to go step by step, game by game. There’s a lot of time left before the title is decided. We’re trying to stay relaxed, train hard every day to improve, and that’s the only way we can achieve great things."
bundesliga.com: How does playing for Leipzig compare to your younger days at Barcelona?
Olmo: "It’s different. Every school of football is different. Barca tries to implement their philosophy, touches, possession, and here perhaps the style is a bit more direct. It’s also based around possession because we’re a team that likes to have the ball, but saying that we also want to be direct when we have it. When you’re at the Barcelona academy and then you go to Croatia and then end up here in Germany, you learn something everywhere. I think being in so many places teaches you different ways of looking at football, and at the end of the day it makes you better. When I joined Zagreb, the idea was for me to grow as a footballer, as a person, and become a professional footballer. It was a step forward in my career, towards joining a big club. Finally I’ve achieved that, but not with Barca! I was very happy, I grew a lot in Zagreb, not just as a footballer but also as a person. I have some really nice memories there - I consider it my second home. Now I just want to prove that I deserve to be at Leipzig, play here and help the team."
bundesliga.com: Who's been your toughest Bundesliga opponent so far?
Olmo: "The Bundesliga? The game against Bayern was probably the hardest we’ve faced so far. It was a very tough game in the Allianz Arena, and we were able to get a point. We also had chances to score, but we couldn’t. But a point is positive."
bundesliga.com: Are you hopeful of going to the Euros with Spain?
Olmo: "The European Championship is a dream for any Spanish player and any player at international level. So yeah, it’s a goal for me that won’t be easy, but I have aspirations, I want to improve here and obviously go to the Euros. I know that if I play well, I’ll have a chance to go, so I’m focused on that."