Karsdorp: “I hope to be ready for Atalanta.”

John Solano

Roma right back Rick Karsdorp spoke to the club’s official and answered questions submitted by Roma supporters, here are his words:

How is your recovery going?
It’s tough to say. The operation went well. Now I’m training twice a day, more or less, depending on what the coaches want. I’ve started going to the field and doing some running and footwork exercises. Every day things are becoming better: maybe I can return faster than expected. I cannot give you an exact date, and it’s important not to rush anything because it was an operation on the meniscus of the knee. But I hope to be part of the squad for the first league game of the season.

Are you slightly disappointed at not getting an awesome announcement video like some of the other guys?
No, of course not! I’m just working on my recovery of the surgery I underwent. If I’m honest I haven’t even noticed it. I’m just busy making sure that I become completely fit again, so for now I’m not using social media a lot.

Who was your your idol growing up?
Actually, I’m going to tell you something different. I never had an idol. As a little boy, I always wanted to improve myself. What I did wrong or I wasn’t good at, I trained and wanted to improve. I did watch a lot of soccer but I did not specifically have an idol that filled my room with posters. I looked more at myself than looking at others.

Did you play different types of sports when you were younger and invest specifically in football at a later age?
I have no experience with other sports, really. For me it was just football, football and football. At a certain time, it did not go well at school and my father decided that I could not play football at Feyenoord anymore: I could only focus on school. If that went well, I could play again. From my 15th birthday I started playing again at Feyenoord and afterwards I graduated from high school. I trained three times a week alone with a personal coach that my father paid for. Eventually I signed a contract and then things progressed quickly for me. I guess if I have to choose a sport next to football, I choose tennis.

Have you met Francesco Totti? What do you think about him and the club?
No, I haven’t met Francesco Totti yet. The first days in Rome were very busy with my surgery. So I have not seen him yet. What they have told me is that he’s a great personality in Rome. In some way you can compare it with Dirk Kuyt, who started and ended his career at Feyenoord – although Totti played his whole career for Roma. I have huge respect for that. As for the first impression of the club, it is very difficult for me at the moment. As a new player it is difficult. You are in another culture and you do not speak the language. I still have to settle in Rome. The past weeks, through training camp and tour, I have been away from home – and Rome – a lot. So I have not really been able to discover the city. At the moment, I have a good feeling with the club. I have a good understanding with the physiotherapist, with the people working in the gym everything works perfect, and the players are friendly to me despite the fact I don’t speak the language. That’s a good sign, that’s all positive. Now, the only thing is to recover and train as soon as possible with the players. From the moment I can do that, I will integrate better into the squad. Of course, the effort the club made to bring me here, it gives me a good feeling and I’m happy about that.

What is the happiest moment of your career so far – and the most painful?
Of course, the most beautiful moment so far is the title with Feyenoord last season. The year before we won the cup and after that we knew that we could achieve more. The team stayed together and we went on to win the title. That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve experienced in my short career. What I felt when I won the title with Feyenoord was indescribable. And of course, it’s beautiful that I could sign for Roma now.

What did Kevin Strootman say to you to get you to join Roma?
For me it was a difficult decision. I had played for Feyenoord since I was eight. They had always shown real confidence in me so it was a difficult decision. So I called Kevin to ask what his feelings were. Kevin told me that he was really happy at Roma, that he loved the club. He said that, beyond football, it’s a great city to live in – and also told me his opinion that I needed a new challenge in my career. Eventually I agreed and I decided to come to AS Roma to play football. It was only a short conversation but Kevin said some different, insightful things that were important in my decision.

What is your best attribute as a player?
I find it very difficult to talk positively about what I do! I am very critical to myself. I would rather tell you points I can improve. But I think one of my strengths is clear and that’s my speed. I do not have to deny it. That’s an important weapon of me.

What do you think about Serie A, and the type of football played in Italy?
Yes, it is very different from the Netherlands. I see a lot of football so I know how they play here. I know defending is a lot tighter and stronger than in the Netherlands. I can improve on this part so I look forward to learn in training. In attack, I will just do my thing like I did in the Netherlands. Then everything will be fine.