Bénes: "This could be a dream come true"
László Bénes talks in an interview about his time at FC Augsburg and his call-up for the imminent European championship.
Laci, you’ve spent the last six months on loan from Borussia at FC Augsburg. How as your time there?
Bénes: It was a very positive experience for me. My aim was to get as much game time as possible and I achieved that. I played twelve Bundesliga games, starting most of them. With a view to the EUROS that was very important for me. That was also one of the reasons why I decided to take this step last winter.
And now you’ve been called up for the tournament…
Bénes: I really wanted to be part of the EUROS, that’s been in my head for a long time. That was my big ambition, so I am over the moon to be nominated and that I can now play at my first major tournament with the Slovakia national team. I played at a EURO tournament with the U21s, but playing with the senior team is obviously another level.
How do you rate your chances of playing?
Bénes: Anyone in the squad at the EUROS has a chance of playing. I featured in both of the last warm-up games. I played 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw against Bulgaria and scored out goal as well. In the 0-0 draw with Austria I was brought on in the closing stages. With that in mind, I obviously hope to be on the pitch at the tournament as well. This would be a dream come true for me.
What do you think your team can achieve at the EUROS?
Bénes: Qualifying for the tournament is a success in itself for our nation. We don’t manage that every time. Still, we would obviously like to achieve more. Our group has a lot of good teams in it, but we have a chance of getting through the first round. Reaching the knockout stages is our aim.
What do you make of your group?
Bénes: Spain are obviously the clear favourites in our group, but Poland and Sweden are both good teams as well. Anything can happen at these tournaments, though. In 2016 we got to the Last 16, why should we not be able to do the same this time around?
How happy are you that games are being played in front of spectators again?
Bénes: It’s so nice. We’ve had to play without spectators for almost a year and a half. At the start this was very difficult and felt strange, at one point though you more or less got used to the empty stands. I am delighted, though, that spectators are being allowed back. Even thought the grounds won’t be full, I am sure the atmosphere will be really good.