Arpad Sterbic will pair up with Daniel Saric in the FC Barcelona Intersport goal this season. The new keeper sat down with Barça TV and fcbarcelona.cat to talk about his goals for the upcoming season. The player noted that he doesn’t foresee any trouble adapting to his new team and that he already knows most of his new team-mates.
You know most of the Barça players already, have you had a good transition?
“Yes, it’s very easy for me because I know almost every one of the players, they are ex-team-mates, national team team-mates and I’ve even played against some of Barça’s staff. I think it will be an easy transition.”
Are you eager to learn the team’s system of play?
“The keepers are on the six meter line, meaning that we don’t need that much time to learn the system of a new team. We do, however, have to focus on a couple of defensive plays, but I think that’s just about done.”
The Sterbic-Saric pair, is it the best in the world?
“Every important team has good goalkeepers. The outcome of a handball match depends on the keeper and every team wants to have at least two good goalkeepers. Saric is a player that has been on form for a long time, and not only for Barça, but also with Alcobendas, Ademar and Pamplona ... he’s showed that he’s a fantastic keeper, one of the best in the world. I’m here to help him and I hope we can form a good relationship to help the team win.”
You’re coming out of Atlético Madrid, Barça’s fiercest rival. Do you think your departure hurts Atlético?
“Everyone thinks that Atlético Madrid are worse off after every season because players leave, but for me they are just as strong as last year. They signed Ivano Balic, who is one of the best defenders in the world, and they just beat Kiel in the SuperGlobe. They will fight for all of the titles this year, just like last season. They’re a very powerful side, we have to take them seriously.”
You know Atlético Madrid really well, how to do you think they’ve prepared for the Super Cup?
“They signed a lot of new players, but I’m not sure how on form they’ll be in the Super Cup. Talant Duixebàiev brought a system of play to the Ciudad Real and he’ll stick with it, it’s his philosophy. I think they’ll play like they did last year, the only difference will be that they’ll have new players. I think the atmosphere of the Super Cup will be fantastic; it’ll be a great match.”
What do you recall from last year’s competition?
“I remember that we prepared for the match throughout the whole pre-season because it was an important match for us. I remember that the atmosphere was great and that the fans helped us out a lot. It wasn’t a normal match, because we won with a clear advantage ... it’s strange because when you play against Barça you hardly ever win by a clear margin.”
You haven’t been here long, but what’s your impression of the team. What’s it like inside the dressing room?
“For me there isn’t really a difference between this dressing room and Atlético Madrid’s. I know most of the players here. In fact, I lived with them for about two months during the Olympics. I have a lot of national team-mates here. In Atlético there are more foreigners, but it’s really not that different at all.”
What would winning the Super Cup mean to you?
“Winning the Super Cup will be hard. We’re playing against Atlético Madrid, they are a confident side, but we have to fight and start off the season with a title. The Super Cup doesn’t get the credit it deserves, it seems as though no one takes notice if you win the title or lose it. We fight for all the titles here, and on June 1 or 2 we’ll see how many titles we’ve won. That’s when we’ll know if we had a good season, so we have to start off strong and try to win from the get go.”
What’s your definition of a good season?
“When a player is in a team like Barcelona, he must try to win everything, that’s why it’s important to take it one match at a time. It’s clear that we want to win it all, but it will be difficult. It’s better to not get ahead of ourselves, we just need to take it one game at a time. Some players may be content with two or three titles, others might want more. It all depends on how we do in the Liga and the Champions League ...”
Would you like to win the Champions League?
“Yes. It’s a difficult competition to win and there are new teams each year that can pose a threat. Last year it was Copenhagen, this year it’s Vezprém... in other words, it’s difficult to win the title. I’m very eager to win the Champions League because I’ve gone to the Final Four for the past three consecutive years but we weren’t able to win the title.”