Spain U21: Dani Olmo: My dream is to play for Spain’s senior team, but I know Spain’s U21s is age group
Spain U21 La Rojita’s captain spoke to MARCA
Spain Under-21 playmaker Dani Olmo has made clear that his target is to play for his national team’s senior side in the future.
La Rojita‘s captain has acknowledged, however, that he is currently a player whose age group and level corresponds to the youth team.
In an interview with MARCA, Olmo also discussed the European Under-21 Championship victory and why he stayed at Dinamo Zagreb in summer.
Ansu Fati has already joined the Under-21s.
It is a pity that Carles [Perez] had to leave the national team camp due to injury, but Ansu is a player with a lot of quality and will be welcome in the group.
What do you think about him?
I am very happy for him. I personally know him and his family because I played with his brother [at Barcelona]. He has to go step by step; his environment is ideal to be calm and with his feet on the ground. He is young, has a lot of room for improvement and has to keep working.
Some arrive and others can leave. Maybe for the seniors.
Hopefully [yes], [as] a young Spanish player’s dream is to wear the senior [side’s] shirt. It is very difficult to be included in the list, but you have to keep working. I know that I am at the U21 age group and whenever it comes, no matter the category, I will do my best.
Do you feel as a leader of this U21 team?
As at Dinamo [Zagreb], we are all important and we play at professional clubs. The most important thing when you come to the national team, and even more now when there is a new generation, is to contribute your grain of sand. All together.
But all your teammates agree that you are a bit above them.
I always make myself available to the team and try my best to make the team win and achieve the goals [we have]. It has to be like that.
You have a good dribble and a good shot, what does Dani Olmo need to improve?
After a busy summer, are you calm again?
Yes, in the end I was clear that I wanted to play in the Champions League and I thought, why not with Dinamo?’ I have a contract until 2021 and whenever I wear this shirt, I will give my all.
Did you have to make many decisions?
Well, in the end I didn’t have to make any decisions because I stayed. They wanted me to help the team get the qualification for the Champions League and we got it. There was no way out, but now it is past and I am happy to have stayed. I want to play in the Champions League, which is a competition I’ve always wanted to feature in. You get stronger out of everything [that has happened].
Has your life changed a lot since the European Under-21 Championship victory?
Very much as I knew that I was the most unknown of the players of this team, but I also knew that if I worked I would have opportunities to compete. That’s how it went. I tried to do my best and that was the consequence.
How did you experience everything at the European Under-21 Championship?
It was incredible. When the days went by, we realised what we had experienced and it was amazing to go through that with that group. [The way] we bounced back against Poland, needing to score three goals and scoring five, these are details that ultimately stay with you and you remember them throughout your life.
People wondered why Dani Olmo was in Croatia. Why are you still in Croatia?
In the end there was no way out but I’m glad I stayed at Dinamo. They have given me a lot and this year we have the opportunity to play in the Champions League after having an incredible campaign last year. We qualified for the Champions League for the first time after 49 years and we want to do something great and for that, we need all the players.
Can you improve more in Croatian football?
It is a competitive league, it is not at the level of the Top 5 but in the end we play in European competitions, and coming to the national team helps me to keep improving.
How is it being the leader of a historic club?
I try to contribute my grain of sand like everyone else and we all get along very well. We all go in one [direction] and in the end this is our key.