You all know what Artur Jędrzejczyk is like. After the videos from “Łączy nas Piłka”, you can only expect jokes from the defender.. But maybe you can actually have an honest, serious conversation with him? Well… no. He’s just always laughing.
What’s up? I heard that you almost killed Piotr Kucza today.
– We were playing golf and he was a bit further ahead, taking pictures. I took a swing and the ball flew right next to him. It’s been a bad day.
It’s September 1st today.
– Yeah, the start of the war and the school year. Two of the worst things, right?
Calling you is getting worse. I was shocked when you picked up the phone yesterday. Will you give me Lewanowski’s number?
We want to see if it’s easier to contact him.
– Eh, I don’t take my phone everywhere with me.
You’re really not keeping up with the times. I heard you didn’t have internet for an entire year. What did you do?
– I was still at Legia, a few years ago. I slept, mostly.
Stop it, you slept for an entire year?
– And I played video games. FIFA, stuff like that. The internet doesn’t do much for me. I don’t even use Facebook. I know that you can add pictures and stuff, right? But I think I have some sort of account there.
You have an account but you don’t know?
– Maybe it’s a fake, maybe it’s not. I would get too attached to it too fast. I don’t have Twitter, I don’t have Facebook… What else is there?
Show me what apps you have on your phone.
– Well look, I have WhatsApp, App Store to download games and thats it.
The transfer window has closed, and you’re still in Russia.
– I had an offer from Bordeaux, but..
But you didn’t pick up the phone from Mariusz Pierkarski, your manager.
– I picked up! I always pick up for him, someone let out that I don’t. I knew of the offer during the Euros.
So why didn’t you go?
– Why should I? For me, Krasnodar is the better team, and here I can fight for trophies, for the championship. Two years ago we were sixth, then third, now fourth. We’ve had nine games, and I’ve played in all of them. In the Europa League eliminations, I didn’t play in one match. So I practically play every game. We’re in the Europa League every season – right now we’re playing with Schalke, Red Bull Salzburg and Nice. Maybe it’s Russia, and not the top 5, but you can still play with some decent teams. Bordeaux is a known group, not long ago playing in the Champions League with Gourcuff, but they’ve dropped. They finished eleventh, I think. I didn’t go, but Igor took his chance.
Was there anything other than Bordeaux?
– Not really. I got a few offers from England, but from Championship sides, so nothing too attractive. But we have Poles there, “Wszołi” signed for Queens Park Rangers, earlier “Borys” fulfilled his dreams and finally went to England. It’s good in Krasnodar. The atmosphere is good. Fyodor Smolov – the king of goals – is always joking that I should bring four Kamaz apples from Poland, because they didn’t have any due to the embargo. Whenever I enter the changing rooms, he asks when I’m bringing him apples. Recently, the guys covered my number plate with duct tape. I got in my car, completely clueless. The police pulled me over and I’m asking what’s happened. He tells me that it’s illegal to have my number plate covered. I get out of the car to take off the tape and I explained to him that the guys pulled a prank on me, and he let me go. I can’t complain about Russia. When I get an offer from Real, the conversation will start.
Don’t you regret that you fought for the cup, and to be champion, and now Legia is playing in the Champions League without you? Did you want to return?
– It never came up. Newspapers wrote about it, but Krasnodar wouldn’t let me go. If I was to return, I would play with Cristiano.. But what’s new, I already played with Ronaldo. I was ecstatic about them advancing through. I thought they would leave it 0:1, but “Kuchy” went forward, and it’s good that he shot, because a draw is always better than a loss.
So you’re a Real fan?
– Real, of course! I don’t like Barcelona, my whole family is behind Real. It’ll be 1:1. Kucharczyk and Ronaldo. At the end there might be a counter attack, Kuchy can break free and put it to 2:1.
So you’re not playing in the Champions’ League, but you were in the Euros.
– Listen, when I came back from the Euros, alot of children came to my house. Every day. They were always knocking on the door, asking for pictures and autographs. Then a small girl knocked on the door again and asked “Artur, can we come in for 20 minutes for some tea?”.
– Well we gave her some. We went to buy some sweets and gave them those too. Awesome kids!
You’re the most popular guy in Dębica?
– Umm, I think Borek [Mateusz Borek – sports commentator] is. I rarely see him. He’s really well known, across all of Poland. They even promote him in banks. There’s also Leszek Pisz, so I’m not at the top. And I’m glad.
Did you not get any advertisement offers after the Euros? Maybe some bookies, because I heard you know all the results.
– When we watched matches, there was a situation that when I said something will happen, it happened. We were watching Portugal and Iceland and I said there’ll be a penalty. And they gave them a penalty, so I said that they’ll hit the post. And they did. They were all laughing, that I should play the lottery non-stop.
Was your mobile under the table with livescore?
– You’re kidding? I just thought it up on the spot. And I was right. I said that Iceland will score a goal against England, and everyone thought I was joking. They played it to the wing, and goal. It happened a few times, but I don’t remember which games.
Maybe you should be the face of the bookies?
– I haven’t received any offers… But if some marketing experts are reading, I’m waiting!
What could you be the face of?
As long as it’s raining money?
– Of course! I’m joking, but if I was to get an offer, it would be possible.
How would you rate yourself at the Euros?
– I think I played well. And I was out of position. That’s how it works, the misfortune of one is the fortune of another. First I jumped in instead of Wawrzyniak, then I had an injury and Rybus came in, and then in the end, I’m back. It all goes round in circles, but that’s football. During the whole competition, we only let in two goals.
Pazdan stole the show from yourself, Glik and Piszczek.
– Maybe a little, but is it important?For me, it’s enough that I played well and we got to the quarter-finals. Pazdan played even better? Great.
Which match do you remember best?
– The final two games were the best. We were in the final 16, penalties, then the quarter-finals. I think that we would have beaten Wales. Well, now we can speculate. For me it was a great experience. It’s true that it’s a long time to sit there, but it’s tolerable.
Was it hard to play against Shaqiri?
– He scored a goal against us!
– Of course! I was the closest to him and when I saw him jump, i thought: jesus, where’s he going with this? He’s going to shoot that?! It finished well and went to penalties. It was always my dream to represent my country. Then I changed my dream and wanted to play at the Euros. Seeing as I went there and we achieved something, now I want to play at the World Cup. That’s probably how it’ll stay. But, to score a goal for the country…
You could also run to the fans in the stands. But there would be a fine.
– So? What are fines to me? PZPN [Polish Football Association] would pay it for me!
The next World Cup is in Russia.
– They’re preparing themselves well. You can see they are scared of some sort of threat, so there are security services everywhere. Ever since I started playing in Russia, I haven’t seen a single Muslim. They don’t let them in.
What are they saying of Cherchesov in Russia?
– He’s not had his debut yet. But he’s got his own craziness, because they asked him about Kokorin and Mamajev’s party, and he said he is angry only for not getting an invitation. That’s his style, he was the same in the locker room. He’s a super guy! At the start he looked threatening, but he started to joke with us, he was fair, there were no problems. I think that he is managing just fine and he will rebuilt the national side, because we all know how it’s been looking recently.
(Karol Linetty walks up)
KL: – Hey, where can I get my hair cut?
– You don’t know?
KL: – Nope.
– So go to reception, maybe they’ll shave you there..
Talking about Lech, I heard about the situation with Kownacki.
– I don’t remember precisely, but Kownacki ran into me from behind and is staring. I gave him a wide smile and I said: Kid, why are you showing off? And I showed him the finger – look, Jodełka [Tomasz Jodłowiec, defender] is sharpening his claws for you. Don’t try and foul me any more.
Jodłowiec is always helpful in such situations. I heard that at training, Orlando Sa pushed him over. Next, Jodłowiec went straight into him and to the end of training, Sa didn’t go near him.
– He’s like that. Let’s hope he does it in the Champion’s League.
Any plans after football? But seriously.
– I’m going to buy a car, quadbike and I’ll drive and travel. I don’t think I’ll work.
You don’t want to be a manager?
– Nope! But actually, why not! Yes!
Kids or adults?
– Adults! Ekstraklasa manager Jędrzejczyk
But they won’t take you seriously.
– So they can play in the second team, they can kick a ball there.
(Łukasz Wiśniowski is in the background)
ŁW: – What’s up?
– Go home! Mug… I’m only kidding, I like the guy.
Does your wife have ADHD too? How can she deal with you?
– No, she’s calm. Little and calm. But what does she have to deal with, what ADHD? (he pulls a silly face) I’m as normal as can be!
Interview with Samuel Szczygielski (www.weszlo.com)