With Osijek, László Kleinheisler aims to play more on the European stage as well (Photo: NK Osijek)

 

– Your goal decided the winner in the Europa League match against Pogoń. How would you describe the clash against the Poles?
– In the first game, we did not manage to play the game we planned; we made a lot of mistakes. Although the second half was a notable improvement, we had a lot of opportunities, but could not score – László Kleinheisler told our portal before Osijek's Croatian league match on Sunday. – In the rematch, we played on home grounds, and we managed to achieve our ideas. The practice we put in the elements we needed to improve in paid off. We were more focused in this meeting. The most important thing is that we are in the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League, and it is a pleasure for me to have advanced with my goal..

– So, was László Kleinheisler the difference between the teams? How do you remember your goal?
– I wouldn't say that because it took the whole team to succeed. Regarding my goal, Damjan Bohar neatly took the ball to the baseline, then passed it back, and I arrived at the right time in the second wave. It was a conscious action; we were prepared to look at the possibility of repassing the ball if we got to the opponent's penalty area. Luckily, I just managed to do that and scored between the defender's legs.

– You were substituted in the 57th minute of the first game against Pogoń, and after the meeting head coach Nenad Bjelica said you were playing too spasmodically.

– It was my first game of the season, and after four training sessions, I found myself in the starting lineup. Of course, I was happy about that, although I can honestly say that I didn't feel 100% physically. Since then, I've had more training and stake matches, and I feel like I'm getting more and more energy, getting in better shape. In the rematch, I touched the ball more often, I was in play more, and I even scored a goal.

– Nearly 4,000 people attended last Thursday's rematch in Osijek, and according to your coach, the fans did their best.

– It is important that they are supporting us. Although there are not tens of thousands of them, they give us a lot of strength. Of course, it is completely different to play for the Hungarian national team in front of 65,000 fantastic fans, but I hope that more and more people will also come to the matches in Osijek in the future.

– The first match against CSKA Sofia is on Thursday. What do you expect from the match against the Bulgarians?

– Every match is different. The league and cup matches come one after the other, and we only need to pay attention to ourselves, to our game. I feel like the team is strong mentally, and the motivation also skyrocketed. After the away win against Hajduk Split, we advanced in the European Conference League, which gave us a boost. We are looking forward to the cup match against CSKA Sofia – we want to get in the cup series as far as possible. We start with an away match on Thursday where we want to score goals. With a win in Sofia, we could expect a rematch at home from a more comfortable position. We have every chance of a good cup performance. I feel like we have a really great team right now.

– You have recently extended your contract with Osijek until the summer of 2023. So, do you not plan to change clubs soon? A lot of people thought it was a great last season and after the European Championship you will continue your career in a stronger league.

– I've received several offers, but I'm staying. I feel great in Osijek. It's great to be appreciated here, and I feel like head coach Nenad Bjelica has the utmost confidence in me. I want to repay the trust and help my team. Of course, anything can happen. It's also possible that even in the summer there will come an offer for me that Osijek will accept. However, I absolutely don't care about that. I'm just thinking about the game against CSKA Sofia.

– Your youth club, Puskás Akadémia, won the Puskás-Suzuki Cup after 14 tries. How did he feel about the news?

– I was delighted to hear that Puskás Akadémia won the tournament. It was a great experience for me to play in this prestigious tournament. Hats off to the guys, and I congratulate the entire academy from the bottom of my heart for the great success. This is the path they have to continue being on. Way to go!

(Translated by Vanda Orosz)