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David Ospina: “I am the smallest”

Arsenal goalkeeper and former OGC Nice man David Ospina gave an interview to this morning’s edition of L’Équipe, the highlights below.

On how his transfer to Arsenal came to being…

“When the coach (Wenger) contacted me, after the World Cup, I said yes straight away. To play in England, it was a dream. In Colombia, on TV, we saw the Spanish and English matches thanks to Asprilla at Newcastle (1996-98) and Juan Pablo (Angel) at Aston Villa (2001-07). And I preferred the passion surrounding English football. Sadly, I arrived at Arsenal already injured. I injured my right thigh in my last match in the World Cup in Brazil.” 

On his Arsenal debut…

“I did not have time to warm up like one should. We were playing with ten men. Galatasaray were attacking from all sides and it pulls. The same injury, the quadriceps! Another 3 months (out). That was a big blow. You arrive at a new club to fight in order to win your place and you cannot play for 5 months. It was very difficult.”

On critics who suggest his (lack of) height is an issue…

“(He smiles) At the start, you laugh because it is true. When I am in the tunnel and I see the opposition goalkeeper… I am forced to raise my head. In England, they are all two heads taller than me! They are 1.90m, maybe more! Courtois, De Gea, Hart… You laugh but really it puts a little pressure on. Even Hugo (Lloris) is supposed to be small but he is how tall? 1.87m, 1.88m? The smallest one is me! 1.84m.”

On his battle with Szczesny and playing vs Stoke…

“I have a lot of respect for the two other goalkeepers. Everyone has had their chance. But that was my chance. I had to take it.”

Are you the number one goalkeeper at Arsenal?

“I don’t know. (he smiles) The coach doesn’t speak much.”

On the upcoming game vs Monaco…

“Monaco, it will be special. It used to be the derby (for Nice). Nice remains in my heart. I spent 7 years there. My daughter was born there. Plus, I will get to see a bit of sun, because over here… That is the only thing that I am missing.”

[PHOTO: Zimbio.com]

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