AC Sparta Praha

Rio's debut

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31. 7. 2017 | 20:13 back to news

Rio Mavuba made his debut for Sparta against Bohemians on Sunday night. As a defensive midfielder he did a great job of winning balls in the centre of the pitch and distributing them to his teammates. However, he could not be satisfied after a point loss in the first round.

„My first impression can not be a positive one after how it ended, we wanted to win. But I’m happy for what was before that. I finally played, finally saw the stadium full of fans, chanting. I really liked the fans, and that’s the reason I can’t be happy,“ Mavuba said.

In 33 years of age, he already made hundreds of French top division appearances, and played for Villarreal and French national team. But despite his experience, he felt a little bit nervous before his Sparta debut.

„I was a little nervous, it was my debut after all. I’m here to help the team and I wanted to prove it. But as soon as the match started, everything felt ok,“ Rio said.

Mavuba showed a tremendous vision since the first minutes, and it almost looked like he spent much more time with his new teammates.

„It was good. Of course, I’m getting used to the language. We speak English to each other and I’m trying to pick up some Czech as well. But anyway, you always end up doing what you can when on the pitch. And I’m trying to do it as best as I can,“ Rio said.

The fact, that Rio played in the centre of the pitch together with Georges Mandjeck, helped a lot, as the two of them played each other last season in French league.

„It’s good to play next to someone I can speak French to. It makes the communication much easier. But at the same time, I don’t think playing to somebody else would cause some trouble,“ Rio said.

Rio could not earn all the points on Sunday night, but was excited about the support of almost seventeen thousands of fans at the GENERALI Arena stands.

„I loved that. Before actually joining Sparta I talked to David Rozehnal who told me how good the fans are over here. Yesterday I had the chance to see it myself. You know, even in Belgrade I was surprised how many fans have travelled to support us. If the support stays like this, I am pretty sure the fans will make it much easier for us to win,“ Rio said. He was also grateful the fans showed their support despite a disappointing result.

„It’s a bit of a difference, compared to French fans. Like yesterday – we didn’t win and of course the fans were not happy. But they stayed, applauded and showed they stood behind us. In France, it was difficult when we were not successful. Sure, I understand that, but I like when we stand next to each other,“ Rio added.


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