Interview Simon Kjær after Denmark - France
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Interview Simon Kjær after Denmark - France

Interview: DBU TV · 25 Sep 2022

Interview with Simon Kjær after the Nations League match between Denmark and France. Denmark won 2 - 0 over the current world champions. What are Simon Kjær's thoughts about the match?

Interview Simon Kjær

Simon, a 2-0 win at home over the world champions. It can't be a much better departure for the World Cup, can it?

Simon Kjær: "No, it's a fantastic preparation. As you say, beating the world champions at home, and actually beating them twice, shows that we can compete against the best. Dream of something big. And let us to be really happy, it will be insanely cool to get to a final round again."

Just put a few words on the performance you think we delivered on the field today.

Simon Kjær: "Well, apart from the first quarter, when they actually pushed us down a bit, and we were going to be very, very deep. That’s one of the things we're okay with once in a while. It has to. Then I want to say, I think we are getting really, really well in the game, we’re in control and the two chances they might have are very, very few. It is actually ourselves who make the chances for them. So, I think we are really sharp both defensively and offensively. We are good on the ball, we can rest deeply even under pressure, and we know what we have to do. So I think it looks really, really good.

I was just talking to Mæhle before. He said he has never been part of a unity and community like what is on this team. You are a big part of the culture, part of the backbone. What is it that you have tried but also succeeded in building up?

Simon Kjær: "Well, it already started back then with Åke (Hareide). Continuity. And make sure there is a base and security when you join the National Team. That it becomes a family. And Kasper (Hjulmand) has actually quietly carried that on. He renewed the squad a bit, and brought in some younger forces as well. And it is really just that they have come under a culture, so they can see that we have a great time when we are together. But there should be no doubt that when we train, we train. Then we train hard. Because we must constantly improve, we must be ambitious, these are some of our strengths at the moment. It is our ambition that lies in getting better and the intensity of the training.

It's fantastic and it's also what makes us keep growing. So we have to protect that and we have to keep pushing for that so when we train, we train. We train to get better, and not just to have fun. And when we're off the field we have fun and have a good time together. When we cross the chalk lines, we work hard."

"We train to get better, and not just to have fun."

- Simon Kjær, captain of Denmark

Of course, I know that it is a responsibility that is distributed across all players on the team, that you all carry this culture. You, as the captain, of course also have a large part of it. If you were to make it more concrete on this assembly, we have now Rasmus Højlund, a new player, 19 years old. What do you do concretely as a captain when someone like him comes in? He comes in and gets it?

Simon Kjær: "Well, you welcome him, get to talk to him a bit, show him that he's welcome, we get to make some jokes with him, get to talk, get to hear how things are going. He's a guy where things have moved very, very quickly, so he also just has to go in quietly and feel comfortable. And then when we train he is also allowed to feel that he has reached a place where he has to work hard to stay. So that's nice. An amazing young boy. He has a lot of hunger, you can see it when he comes in, he gives all he has. It looks really exciting, also for his future. But he must know that when he is here: he must work hard to stay."

Last question. In a month and a half, approximately, until we enter the World Cup camp. How much are you looking forward to it? I know you have to go and play important games for your club too, but how much is it in a bright spot in the months - we are coming into - looking forward to the World Cup?

Simon Kjær: "Well, there's no doubt that we're all really looking forward to it. For me, the last nine and a half months have been very intense. I have been training a lot alone, so it has always been completely in the back of my mind that there was something I had to be ready for. And it's been there since December 3 last year, when I had the surgery. So I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm also looking forward to coming home to Milan again and playing football matches and preparing even more. So I stand even more sharp until 14 November. But I think the whole of Denmark is very excited."

Thank you Randi for the English translation.

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