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Lovro Majer: “In Croatia, people always try to find fault with players, I wanted to prove I could play in any league”

In speaking with Ouest France, Rennes midfielder Lovro Majer, perhaps the biggest revelation of the Ligue 1 season, discussed his style of play, how he thinks about football and low expectations back home in Croatia.

Tell us about your way of thinking on the pitch, your assist for Gaëtan Laborde against Brest, for example, was incredible.
“If you want to play your best football, I don’t think you should think too much, otherwise you make the wrong choices. On the pass for Gaëtan, I saw him run, I had this feeling that he could get there and I delivered the ball. It was a feeling. The most important thing is to be natural, be yourself – that’s when I play my best football.”

What’s your favourite part of football? Passing?
“Honestly, I prefer to score goals, [laughs] I’m like everybody else! But it’s obviously great when I get an assist and it helps the team win. When you’re winning, like we are right now, there’s no better feeling.”

You arrived in France six months ago, how are you getting on in Rennes?
“Very good, I’m very happy at the club and in the city. Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to turn out this well. Before arriving, I didn’t know what to expect… I suspected that it was going to be difficult to leave my country for the first time but I’m extremely happy here. I enjoy training, the matches and the lifestyle. From day one, whether it was the players, the coach or the people at the club, everyone welcomed me. This is the perfect move for me. No one expected me to adapt so quickly.”

Back in Croatia, few people believed you would be a success at Rennes.
“Yes! When I signed, a lot of people thought it wasn’t the right move for me because Ligue 1 is difficult, players run a lot. In Croatia, people always try to find fault with players… I wanted to prove to myself that I could play in any league.”

You use reading to develop your game too, correct?
“Sometimes you need to progress through different means. It can be books, psychology, family… It’s hard to maintain your level of play over time and to be good in every game… Sometimes you play well in three, four or five games in a row and you start to become too satisfied with what you’re doing. Not because you want to, but because you’re human. In these cases, you have to find a way to stay at your best level. For me, this includes reading books written by people who have succeeded at this and trying to take something from them and learning.”

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