Interview with Goran Pandev

Goran Pandev speaks about his new club, about the past in Italy (especially in Napoli) and reveals some interesting things about his career.

photo by Calcio Turco: Pandev in action for Galatasaray

The interview with the Macedonian star player was conducted by the web site, and is only available in the Italian language. You can view the original version by clicking here. We bring you an English translation. The interview is long, Pandev was probably in the mood for talking. He was asked only about his club career, so don’t expect anything related to the national team.

Goran, how are things going in Turkey?
“It’s all good. We are (Pandev and Džemaili, TN.) here for four months, I had some difficulties at the beginning but we are slowly settling. It’s different than Italy, but thing are improving. I expect to end the championship well.”

After all, you scored a hat-trick recently…
“For an attacker it’s very important, at the beginning we had difficulties with the squad, we had many injured players but now we are better: I scored three goals in the Turkish Cup and we are hoping to continue this way.”

Strange, after Napoli you still find Blerim Džemaili next to you.

“I’m glad that Blerim is here. It’s less difficult to change teams if you have someone who speaks Italian next to you. Plus, he is a great player, now he is injured and I hope that he will get better soon.”

How did the transfer to Galatasaray happened? Were there any other teams that wanted you?
“Yes, there were other teams as well but the call from Galatasaray made the difference as they are a great team that qualified for the Champions League. I wanted to try a new league, I was in Italy for many years and I liked the thought of getting to know another country and a new mentality.“

Why Cesare Prandelli failed in Galatasaray?
“Maybe he wanted to make the thing precisely, but from what I could see I can say that here people aren’t used to some things. The coach wanted to impose the method that he was using in Italy, many tactical works, but I have observed that here you have to let the players have more fun on the field. It’s all different in Turkey, they have a different mentality. Then, Prandelli got in more problems as we started bad, if you lose a couple of games it becomes a mess. (laughs, Ed.)“

Pandev getting a red card in the 2012 Super Cup; photo:

Now comes the Italian Super Cup that you have already won under Benítez…
“A beautiful memory, when we won the Super Cup. But I regret for losing the one against Juventus: we played a great game, but at the end happened what happened. I hope that Napoli can beat Juventus, the Azzurri are a great team and they can do it in sudden death game.“

After so much time, can you tell us what happened with the assistant referee Stefani?
“I didn’t said him anything unusual, I only told him that it wasn’t offside. I tell the truth, I regret very much because we had a great game and we deserved to win in Beijing.“

The images of the referees’ decisions went around the globe. What did you talk about in the locker room?
“There was nothing to say. After all that work, to lose a final thanks to mistakes of the referees isn’t good. Anyway, I don’t think they did it on purpose, it went that way and I hope that if Napoli wins in the same way everybody would be happy.“

It was called a “super-shame“. Would you define it as a robbery? Did you felt snatched of the trophy?
“I’m not sure if we can define it as a robbery, but we all saw what happened.“

And at the end none went to receive the medals…
“It was a decision by the president. We and the coach knew who’s decision was. It was told to us not go out and take the medals, and we didn’t go.“

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