Jerome Boateng had to wait six months for a new challenge after the end of his time at Olympique Lyon, and even a comeback at FC Bayern was briefly on the cards. A few days ago, the 35-year-old signed for US Salernitana, who are bottom of the Serie A table.
.. his first impressions of the new club: “Super! I was warmly welcomed, the connection to the coach, the team, but also to the city and the fans is immediate. I feel at home. The passion that I felt in the talks before my transfer has been confirmed. Everyone here is keen for us to stay in the league. The first game in Turin, a 0-0 draw, was just the beginning. We now want to go one better. “
Desire to fight relegation under coach Inzaghi
.. why he moved to Salernitana: “I had various inquiries and offers from all continents. But after the many successes in my career, I wanted the sporting competition. The allure of starting with six points behind the safety of the final margin grabbed me. I really wanted to do it. It was also important for me to have a good feeling with the team, coach and club. Salernitana put in an incredible amount of effort over the weeks, and the talks with coach Filippo Inzaghi and our sporting director went straight to my heart. The challenge appeals to me: we want to stay in Serie A. Every game is now a final. That’s why I say: staying in the league with Salernitana would perhaps be worth more to me than winning one of the many titles.”
.. what role Franck Ribery played in the decision: “I spoke to Franck a lot, he told me a lot of positive things, he really raved to me. Francky is now a legend here. I’m really looking forward to working with him again. “
.. about the last few months without soccer: “They were very hard, because soccer is my passion. I missed it a lot, I really wanted to get back on the pitch. I toughed it out several times a day, including in individual training sessions with a fitness trainer. I didn’t want to give up. The belief was always there. That’s what I’ve learned throughout my career: to persevere against the odds, to keep my head up. Although I admit that: Without the team training, it was a huge mental challenge. I have to feel the ball at my feet with opponents. That’s my life.”
… whether he would go to the 2nd division with Salernitana: “I want to play soccer for another three years. I’m in top shape, have good stats. My contract runs until the summer. Then we’ll see. What I can say after one game: I feel good. “