Now in his third year in Germany, Lucas Alario among the goals for Bayer Leverkusen and has the Bundesliga top three in his sights. - © DFL / Getty Images / Christian Kaspar-Bartke
Now in his third year in Germany, Lucas Alario among the goals for Bayer Leverkusen and has the Bundesliga top three in his sights. - © DFL / Getty Images / Christian Kaspar-Bartke
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Bayer Leverkusen's Lucas Alario: "The top three would be great”

Bayer Leverkusen striker Lucas Alario is in good form lately, having scored an equaliser against Werder Bremen on Matchday 9 as well as two goals for Argentina in October.

In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, he reveals why he’s loving life at Leverkusen and in the German top flight, as well as what it’s like to be a teammate of Lionel Messi…

On how incredibly tight the Bundesliga table looks…

Lucas Alario: "There are a lot of teams on the same number of points and there’s not much between them. We’re ninth but two points from first – it’s crazy. It’s not bad, two points is only one game. So yeah - we’re looking forward to the weekend [against league leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach] to sort things out.”

On why Bundesliga matches are so competitive...

Alario: “I think lots of teams play well the same way. Firstly, they try to defend well, and secondly, it’s not easy to find a game in Germany that ends 0-0. There’s usually quite a lot of goals, and that’s what makes it the exciting and entertaining league it is. I think that’s the main reason the table is like it is.”

On Leverkusen’s start to the season…

Alario: “Personally, I'd say I could've been better, or I would've wanted to have been better. But that’s the reality, and these are only the first games. There are a lot of teams with the same points or similar points, so there’s a really long way to go and we’re ready for that.”

Watch: Check out Alario's Matchday 9 goal against Werder Bremen

On being consistent…

Alario: “More than anything, consistency is something that we lack. We want to have good games and not always be the best then the worst. We want to stay on the same track, with the same quality, the same work. We try to do that in every game. We work every week to try and stop making the same mistakes.”

On Leverkusen’s goals for the season…

Alario: “From the moment the season started, we’ve wanted to compete at the top. We’ve wanted to be in the top positions in the table, and we know that we’re not in the place we want to be at the moment. But we also know we’re only two points off top. So we’ll try to get to the end of the season and be able to say we were in the top three, right up there. That would be great.”

On his tally of 20 Bundesliga goals for Leverkusen since joining in 2017…

Alario: “As a striker, I’m used to scoring more often. That's after 57 games... I’m not sure how many of those were as a starter, and how many were coming on in the second half. You always work to improve, and that’s what I’m doing.”

Alario’s brilliant header past Germany goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen helped Argentina hit back to draw a recent friendly game in Dortmund. - imago images/Sven Simon

On what it’s like to score a goal…

Alario: “It’s very personal – one of the most personal things you can feel. There are different situations. It depends on the game, the moment, the importance of the goal. There are lots of different factors, and a different player might score a different goal to me, but it’s a feeling of happiness that’s hard to explain. So it depends on the game and the situation too.”

On life at Leverkusen…

Alario: “I said in the first year that I arrived it’s a country with the best quality of life, one where you can really enjoy yourself. The club, too. I’m not sure there are many clubs with the infrastructure and facilities, or even the team, that this club has. It’s so good at making players comfortable – there aren’t many in the world that can do that so well. So I’m just trying to make the most of it, and enjoy it."

On moving from Beunos Aires to Leverkusen…

Alario: “Before I got to Buenos Aires I lived in Santa Fe, which is much smaller than Buenos Aires. So in that sense, it was a bit like going back. But it’s very quiet. You can go down the street with no problem, not just in Leverkusen, but in the whole country. You feel that security that nothing is going to happen. Nowadays in Argentina, it’s true that it’s not the same case as here.”

On what he misses from Argentina…  

Alario: “My family, my friends. Those are the things you miss the most. So yeah, spending time with family and friends – an Argentinian asado [the way they cook meat] has been hard to come by too! Those are the things I miss.”

Watch: The top five goals by Argentine players in the Bundesliga

On playing for his country…

Alario: “Firstly to be picked, and then to play, it’s beautiful. I think it’s the best thing any player can do: represent their country. And it’s the proudest you can feel. In the last two international breaks I’ve been lucky enough to be called up, and I was lucky enough to play and score goals. My family were there too.”

On playing in Argentina’s 2-2 draw with Germany in Dortmund in October…

Alario: “Having my family there, I don’t know, it was a happy thing. I know they loved seeing their son play, and luckily I could score in that game so it was a present for them. It was a great day.”

On playing alongside Barcelona star Lionel Messi while on international duty…

Alario: “Well, who wouldn’t want to play with him? Thank God that I had the opportunity to share a pitch with him. It’s amazing, given everything about Messi. He’s world class, so to have the chance to play with him is amazing, and a memory I will always remember.