Exclusive Dani Olmo interview: People said I was crazy going to Croatia

The Spain international spoke to SPORT after scoring on his international debut

Dani Olmo habló para SPORT sobre el momento por el que atraviesa su carrera deportiva | Jordi Gil

SPORT spoke exclusively to Dani Olmo from the Spain camp. The Dinamo Zagreb star is in demand following his performances in the Champions League this season. The former Barcelona player, who scored on his La Roja debut on Friday, could find himself on the move in January, with a number of European clubs tracking his progress. 

Jordi Gil

@jordigil

How do you assess your first involvement with Spain? Has it been a big change? 

I'm doing really well, feeling at home, but yes, there has been a change. It's not the same to train once with them as it is to be in the usual dynamic, but I am trying to make the most of the opportunity and to learn from them.

What's most caught yout attention?

The rhythm of the play, it's all one more step (forward). It's a level up from what I am used to with the U21s and my club. Little by little I am getting used to it and learning. 

No better way to debut than with a goal...

I feel very proud. It was better than I dreamed! I am really happy and now thinking about the next game against Romania. 

What did Robert Moreno say to you?

The coach showed his confidence in me and said that I was here because of what I have done with my club and the U21s. 

Was there a big change after winning the U21 Euros last summer?

That tournament marks a before and an after in my life. I was almost unknown within the U21s and the tournament ended in the best way possible, with the trophy. 

Looking back, you left Barça for Croatia aged 16. What as behind that decision?

It sounds strange and at first people said I was crazy. No other club made the sporting offer which Dinamo did. I could be in the first team dynamic from the second year, but after three months I was promoted from the reserves and I stayed with the first team. They offered me a project for the future, showed they were willing to bet on me, and that's why.

Dani Olmo, en el partido de la Champions del Dinamoi de Zagreb ante el Atalanta | AFP

It's gone well, but was there an element of risk?

It was a decision that could have gone either way. Thanks to God it's worked out and to be here (with Spain) is a prize for a year of hard work.

How is life Zagreb?

It's a calm life. It's the capital of Croatia, there are not more than one million people there and we're very relaxed. 

At any moment did you consider playing for Croatia?

They showed interest. The Croatian Federation communicated that to Dinamo and the club told me. That's how it was and the interest reached me, but I always said that I wanted to play for Spain and I am fulfilling a dream being here. I am really happy. 

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