RB Leipzig: „I consider myself a modern goalkeeper” – Gulácsi was ZDF’s guest
Péter Gulácsi was ZDF’s guest on Saturday night. RB Leipzig’s goalkeeper talked about the defeat in Mainz, the Champions League match against Liverpool, and his hopes of defending goals in Budapest in the summer.
|Péter Gulácsi and his team didn't have a great day in Mainz (Photo: AFP)|
Gulácsi somewhat prolonged his stay in Mainz. After RB Leipzig, second in the Bundesliga, lost 3-2 to Mainz, where Ádám Szalai played from the 66th minute, on Saturday afternoon, the 36-time Hungarian national team goalkeeper and his teammate, 54-time Swedish national team player Emil Forsberg didn't head back to Leipzig, but to the German public television station, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF). They went to 1 ZDF-Strasse, ZDF's headquarters to be the guests of one of the most popular programs, the Das aktuelle Sportstudio.
„I digest a defeat for a relatively long time, but I also have to try to overcome what happened – told the host Dunja Hayali Péter Gulácsi. We must look forward; we have a lot of games to play. At the same time, the game with Mainz gave us an opportunity to make a big step forward and be way ahead of the teams behind us. I'm not denying the fact that this loss has made me disappointed.”
It hardly helped the 30-year-old goalkeeper's soul that, in the studio, he had to look at the summary of the match that had ended a few hours earlier. Especially because RB Leipzig has one of the best defenses and goalkeepers in the league and received three goals.
„I saw the ball late in the first and the third goal,” said Gulácsi who has kept the Leipzig's net free eight times in 18 rounds. „It's expected from the goalies to perform well, but unfortunately it's not always the case. I consider myself a modern goalkeeper. The most important thing is to make good decisions and to provide the team security. It's possible if someone is mentally sharp on the field. It's important to stay calm – at least I'm always trying to be calm on the field. That's probably one of my greatest strengths. I think I can help my team if I'm focused.”
MAINZ – RB LEIPZIG 3–2 (click-through)
In fact, Leipzig needs him as one of the German top flight's best goalies just as much as the Hungarian national team. Gulácsi, who has been with Leipzig since 2015, is rightly one of the main men in the team. They have several big games in the months ahead of them. Just to name a few, he can show in the Champions League knockout game against his previous club Liverpool, or with the national team in the World Cup qualifier against Poland on March 25 why people think much of him.
„We play against ‘Pool' first, so I'm focusing on this match right now,” Gulácsi refers to the game on February 16. “I've spent six years in England, and despite I couldn't play matches in the senior team, I think back to this period good-heartedly. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to play for Liverpool at a young age. Then I moved to Austria to play for RB Salzburg, and finally my path led to Leipzig. I've said a couple of times that I feel great here, and so is my family. I don't know what the future has in store, but I think RB Leipzig is a great a team. My contract is valid for 2.5 more years. My dream is to defend goals at the highest level in the long run. I hope this all can be achieved in Leipzig.”
In recent days and even week it's been repeatedly talked about that the postponed Euro 2020 wouldn't have 12, but only 1 host country. However, UEFA denied the rumors. Then, on ZDF studio's big screen, a map appeared showing the dozen cities designated as hosts – Gulácsi didn't have to be asked what he thinks of “narrowing down” the list.
„The answer is on the board,” – the national team goalie pointed at Budapest. “Right now, we could play two of our matches at home, and I hope that we really can step on the field in Puskás Arena when playing against France and Portugal. Obviously, we have to follow the rules, but there was no problem with that last season either. We paid attention to everything, took care of ourselves in the endgame of the series in Lisbon, and thank goodness, we remained healthy. Everything was fine then, and everything is fine in the Bundesliga now. So, from my part, I'm confident.”
Mainz – RB Leipzig 3–2 (2–2)
Mainz, Opel Arena. Referee: Dingert
MAINZ: Zentner – St. Juste, Bell, Niakhaté – Da Costa, Latza (Öztunali, 66.), Barreiro (Burkardt, 86.), Kohr (Tauer, 80.), Mwene (Stöger, 66.) – Onisiwo, Quaison (Szalai Á., 66.)
Head coach: Bo Svensson
LEIPZIG: Gulácsi – Orbán, Upamecano, Halstenberg (Nkunku, 55.) – T. Adams (Mukiele, 77.), A. Haidara (Samardzic, 61.) – Olmo (Hwang Hee Chan, 77.), Sabitzer, Angelino – Forsberg (Kluivert, 60.), Sörloth
Head coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Goal scorers: Niakhaté (24., 35.), Barreiro (50.), and T. Adams (15.), Halstenberg (30.)
|1. Bayern München||17||12||3||2||49–25||+24||39|
|2. RB Leipzig||18||10||5||3||31–17||+14||35|
|3. Bayer Leverkusen||18||9||5||4||32–18||+14||32|
|6. Eintracht Frankfurt||18||7||9||2||35–27||+8||30|
|7. Borussia Dortmund||18||9||2||7||35–26||+9||29|
|8. Union Berlin||18||7||7||4||33–23||+10||28|
|10. VfB Stuttgart||18||5||7||6||33–29||+4||22|
|12. Werder Bremen||18||5||6||7||23–26||–3||21|
|15. Arminia Bielefeld||18||5||2||11||14–29||–15||17|
|16. 1. FC Köln||17||3||6||8||15–28||–13||15|
(Translated by Vanda Orosz)