|Bendegúz Bolla flew to Switzerland with his manager on Wednesday (Photo: Ádám Bertalan)|
Born: November 22, 1999; Székesfehérvár
– When did you first hear about Wolverhampton's interest in you?
– After we returned from the Austrian training camp with the Hungarian national team, the English club's offer was discussed during breakfast the next morning – told our portal Bendegúz Bolla whose transfer was announced on Saturday by Premier League club Wolverhampton that loans him to Swiss topflight club Grasshoppers next season. – At first, my thought was that someone would be messing with me. The opportunity came suddenly, but I was very happy about it, after all, since I was a child, my goal has been to sign abroad as soon as possible and to stand my ground as a Legionnaire. Luckily, Fehérvár and Wolverhampton managed to reach an agreement, so the deal was made. It meant a lot that the English club offered me a five-year contract. It seems they are counting on me in the long term.”
– Was it clear from the beginning that you were going to Switzerland right away?
– Yes, my manager informed me about this along with the offer. It's a huge honor to be part of a Premier League club, but for my development, I need a permanent chance of playing, which I'd less likely have in England at the moment. That's how Grasshoppers came into the picture, and I'm sure I can improve a lot in the Swiss topflight.
– Would you have thought last year when you were playing for ZTE in NB I that you would now be on loan to Grasshoppers as Wolverhampton's footballer?
– It is indeed a big change, but I've been training for such opportunities since I was a child. With both my manager Mátyás Esterházy and my father, we believe that we must do everything gradually, step by step. After Zalaegerszeg, I played at MOL Fehérvár where I got the opportunity to play, but realistically, the Premier League would've been a bigger bite than I could chew after NB I. In the Swiss topflight, however, I have the chance to jump over the bar. A new environment, new teammates, and a stronger league – all of these should help my development. On Friday, I already trained with my teammates. After medical examinations, I met head coach Giorgio Contini, and he told me what he expects of me. The aim is to build me up as much as possible and to fill the gaps that still may be exposed on the international level. I've come to the best place in my career; it's up to me where I go from here. I'm confident that I will be able to deliver a performance that will allow me to play football in the Premier League in a year or two.”
According to The Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers pays MOL Fehérvár £800,000 (roughly 335 million HUF) for Bendegúz Bolla's right to play. In addition, the Grasshoppers came into the picture because of the close relationship between the two clubs. The Swiss owner, Jenny Wang, is the wife of Guo Guangchang, president of the Chinese company Fosun (owner of Wolverhampton). The English club has loaned Grasshoppers five players last year and four this year with Bolla.
E. M. SZ.
– Did you say goodbye to everyone in Fehérvár?
– Yes, I said goodbye to my teammates on Tuesday afternoon before they left for the away match. Then, we flew to Switzerland on Wednesday, and on Thursday I went through the usual medical examinations. On Friday, I already trained with the team. I'm not going back to Hungary in the near future. My father will bring me the big suitcases by car.
– Every Hungarian footballer dreams of drawing the attention of the teams in the top leagues as soon as possible. Of all the kids, why was it you who could make it?
– On the one hand, it's because I believed in work in Főnix, my youth club. Like my teammate Dominik Szoboszlai at the time, I dedicated everything to football, and I would like to thank Domi's father, Zsolt, for doing a lot of extra work with me as well. The other reason is that in recent years I've been given the opportunity in Zalaegerszeg and Fehérvár, been playing continuously, improving and gaining experience thanks to these. I would hardly have been noticed from the bench, but this is just the beginning. There's no way I've accomplished anything yet, I've only created the opportunity to have the career I dreamed of as a child. From now on, I have to work even harder, because since I got this far, I don't want to disappoint anyone.
|(Photo: Ádám Bertalan)|
– In a year from now, what would you be satisfied with?
– If Wolverhampton showed that they were counting on me. That would mean I had a good integration at Grasshoppers and had a balanced performance. I'm going to do everything I can to make this happen. Like I said, it's all up to me. I also want to become an increasingly dominant player for the national team. It was a great experience to be in the European Championship squad, the tournament remains unforgettable for me even if I didn't enter the pitch at all. I will do everything in my power to ensure that Marco Rossi won't forget me in the future.
– Do you have a role model among the right-backs?
– If I could just mention one name, I'd say Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold. Like him, I like to attack, I often catch up with the action, but I'm aware that the English player is much more qualified than I am in attack and defense. I work to meet him on the pitch for an English league game.
Translated by Vanda Orosz