Q&ASzoboszlai's first LFC interview in full: Ambitions, Klopp respect and playing style
Dominik Szoboszlai explained why a transfer to Liverpool is the 'perfect' next step for his career during his first interview after sealing the move.
Having completed a medical and penned a long-term contract with the Reds today, the Hungarian midfielder sat down with Liverpoolfc.com for an exclusive chat.
Szoboszlai talked through the key factors behind his decision to come to Merseyside, his playing style and positional versatility, his ambitions at Anfield and anticipation for working with Jürgen Klopp.
Watch the full interview with the new No.8 on LFCTV GO below, or read on for a transcript…
Dom, welcome to Liverpool FC. How does it feel to be here?
Thank you. It’s really, really good. I enjoyed the last [few] days and I’m looking forward to knowing everybody better.
It sounds like it has been a whirlwind few days between the clubs agreeing a deal and you arriving here. Tell us about how it has been for you…
The last three or four days went really long; it was not that easy. But at the end I’m here, I’m happy and I can’t wait to get started.
What are your first impressions?
It’s really nice. I’ve been in Salzburg, in Leipzig, it was also nice. But here as well it’s really cool.
What was your reaction when you heard Liverpool wanted to sign you?
A hard question! I was really happy but still I stayed calm because I didn’t want to be too early happy. First when the boss called me, I felt, OK, it can be a really good thing. At the end, yes, everything was perfect.
What made the club so appealing to you for your next move?
[A] really historic club, really good players, good coach, everything is good. For me it was perfect to make the next step in a club like this. The fans, the stadium, everything is really good.
You have mentioned the manager a few times already. How big a factor was he in your decision to come here?
As I said I think in 2020, [he is] one of the best coaches in the world. How he acts next to the pitch – like he would [be] playing with the guys – [I] liked it really a lot. Also how he did in the last years, what he achieved with this club, [I] was also really impressed. I’m looking forward to working with him.
Have you seen much of the reaction from Liverpool fans online over the last few days? It’s fair to say they’re excited about you coming here…
Yes, my phone went crazy! Yeah, I really want to play in front of them at Anfield.
You have played in quite a few different positions in recent seasons. Where do you see yourself fitting in here?
To be honest, for me it doesn’t matter – I want to be on the pitch. But of course everybody has their own position. Of course, attacking midfielder as a 10, I can play on both 10s, left, right, on the sides also. Just I want to play.
How would you describe your game and your qualities?
I’m a player who can play box to box; quite fast but not the fastest as I see the players here. I have quite a good shot. But I’m not only me, it’s the team, so I’m looking forward [to that].
You’ve had the chance to play at Anfield before, back in 2019. How did you find that experience and was it one that made you think one day you might want to come to Liverpool?
This time made me feel bad because we lost 4-3! But of course, I’ve said it before, I’ve almost never been nervous before the game, I think this was the first time in my life. Of course the stadium, the fans were unbelievable even [though] they were against us [Salzburg]. And we will see how it is when they are with me.
Are you counting down the days already for the chance to play there for Liverpool? And it will actually be even bigger than when you were there last time…
Yes, I heard that it’s going to be bigger. Of course counting the days back because it’s a really proud time to get on the pitch in Anfield as a player for Liverpool.
You’ve chosen the shirt number eight, obviously a famous number at Liverpool. What is the reason behind that?
Not a special reason but of course it’s a great number, a lot of great players had this number. And also I have a tattoo from Steven Gerrard, what he said – I don’t even remember when but before. It was also a reason why.
Is he someone you’ve looked up to previously? You’ll know him from playing at Liverpool…
When I was a child, to be honest I didn’t watch that much football but of course when it was Champions League or a big game, I was watching Liverpool, the big teams and also the big players – and he was one of the biggest.
You’ve won league titles and cups already with Salzburg and Leipzig. So what are your ambitions now with Liverpool?
Yes, since I’m professional I won something every year – so I want to continue this!
What would your first message be to Liverpool fans now that you’re a Red?
That I can’t wait to see you in the stadium and I’m going to do everything that is possible from my side.
And finally, I believe you’re happy for us all to call you Szobo?
This also for me doesn’t matter! Every coach called me different. Some players called me Dom, some players called me Szobo. So, as you guys like, call me as you want, I’m going to take it.