Ujfalusi.fiorentina.cz – "It will never be without pain anymore, but the knee is holding up"

6. 9. 2013 - "It will never be without pain anymore, but the knee is holding up"

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The year of waiting is over. Tomáš Ujfaluši, Sparta's summer reinforcements, on Thursday, for the first time after the injury, debuted with his new team. He played the friendly match against Slovan Bratislava without health problems, the only unpleasant moment was at 53., when after a cross from side he almost knocked the ball into his own net.

"For a moment I was scared. But as I looked, I saw the ball luckily wasn't going towards the net" he told after things I still need to work on. And that's possible only by playing."
Otherwise, he could be happy. Sparta won the match 1:0 thanks to the goal scored by the debuting Lukáš Mareček and Slovan didn't give almost no problems. Ujfaluši played an hour, then accompanied by applauses, he was replaced by Ondřej Karafiát. "I haven't played for a year,so I'm above all happy that my knee didn't give me troubles".

Not even a little?
"It wasn't completely painless. And probably it will never be, I'm not young anymore and I have played many matches in my career. My body has been hurting for the last 3-4 years, but never in the same way. Sometimes you can resist, sometimes it's too much. But now the knee is holding up and I played those 60. just fine".

How have you played after such a long break?
"I've got a lot of work to do, of course. I lacked in explosivity, timing ... the long stop certainly affected me".

You have played 1 hour, it is pretty much after such a long stop.
"If I had some troubles, I would make it clear to the bench to substitute me. But I had no problems, I felt fine so I remained on the pitch for 60.".

Maybe it was also better for you that the match wasn't played in high speed.
"It was an ideal start for me. Slovan didn't press much and thanks to our play, they hardly got chances. Matches against Czech teams, which I got to see, were for sure much more difficult. I'm guessing that next time I will play it will be harder".

How did you coopera with the other stoper Mario Holek?
"Look, I have never had problems to play with any player. It always depends on communication, which is crucial for a central defender. We should be the leaders of the team. And I think we succedeed: me, Mario and Marek Čech in the net did well.".

Were you surprised that to see the former federation derby there were so few supporters?
"Not at all, friendly matches are always played in front of such a small crowd. Maybe it is different only in Turkey, where it's always full. I haven't thought about it at all".

In the second half also young players from youth teams got a chance.
"It's just right. We were speaking about it with Lukáš Vácha that for exaple that striker that entered at the end of the match (Patrik Schick) is only 17. I'm happy they can have a chance in the A team".

Do you have any idea when you can play a "real" match?
"We'll see. I felt good, butwe have to see how the knee will respond now, match is something completely different than training. But I believe that everything will be alright. We will play again on Monday, plenty of time ... But I can't give any exact date about when I can start a match. It's good that I lasted sixty minutes tonight, but I came to play whole matches".

You have arrived to Sparta one month ago, but you played your first match just now. Were you hungry of football?
"To be honest, I began to be hungry when I intensified training on the pitch. I began to feel that the chances to play were closer and that I was are slowly coming back to where I was before the injury".


You can find the original interview on IDNES.
I have translated it into English, I apologize for any mistakes!

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