Jaka Bijol will gladly give the captain’s armband back to Jan Oblak: “That feeling when he’s in goal… It’s good for the national team, for all of us”.
“We have a very important game ahead of us,” Jaka Bijol said at the national team meeting. That he said nothing revolutionary is absolutely true. When you’re chasing the top prize, every race is very important anyway. But this one has a bit more weight, hand on heart. Slovenia on the road to Euro 2024 needs a win at all costs. Otherwise… We will not think or talk about that this time. Convinced that defeat is something that won’t happen. Jaka Bijol also believes that the victory will stay at home on Thursday.
Of course, victory will not be easy to achieve. The Islanders are an uncomfortable opponent, and a very strong one at that. They are fierce in their duels, always going all out. “True. Physically, we will have to be at the right level. In duels. This is their greatest virtue in the game. They are very strong. They will probably play on the bounce, so we will have to be really real in the fights. But of course we will prepare ourselves for whatever lies ahead. I have no doubt that everyone will do everything in their power to ensure that they will be at their best for the match. All to win. What else…“, Jaka Bijol summarised his thoughts on the first opponent in September at the national team meeting in Brdo pri Kranju.
Jaka Bijol: “A major achievement in my career”
The Carinthian footballer, who we first met as a midfielder but now shines as a defender, was even captain of the national team in June after Jan Oblak was dropped. “It was undoubtedly a great achievement in my career, one of the greatest ever,” the 24-year-old admitted, before continuing.It was really special to play with the tape on my arm. And in the national jersey of your country. Along with that, of course, comes the extra responsibility you experience as an actor. Very, very nice feelings. Something very beautiful. Also because it means you have the trust of the selector, the team… I hope I left a good impression. I gave it my all! Definitely a nice message from the selector, I tried to get back to him in the best possible way. Of course, if we had won, it would have been even better.”
In September, Jaka Bijol will once again be a “pure” defender. He will have to hand over the captain’s armband to someone else. But not just anyone. Someone other than Jan Oblak will put it around his wrist again. Bijol will hand it over to him without any problem. “We all know that Jan is one of the most important members of the national team, if not the most important. We are all very happy to have him back, as he has brought a new, extra energy to the dressing room. And that feeling when he’s in goal… It’s good for the national team, it’s good for all of us,“, Jaka Bijol is openly looking forward to having the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper at his back.
He didn’t plan to be famous after the first season
Although Jaka Bijol has put his club thoughts on the back burner for at least a good few weeks, the fact is that there was a lot of talk about his future in the summer. Napoli reportedly want him, Inter reportedly like him… But he stayed with Udinese. And that doesn’t bother him a bit. “I didn’t plan to make the leap right after the first season. However, I’ve only been at Udinese for a year and I feel I can still progress. There will be time for a transfer, I need to further prove on the pitch that I am capable of playing at a higher level. But I want it. We’ll see what happens in a year’s time. It will all depend on what I show on the pitch in the new season,” is a conversation in front of the camera
Football Association of Slovenia
concluded Jaka Bijol.