Before the season, he captained the reigning champions, who he wanted to successfully lead through the qualification phase of the European Cup to the main competition. He immediately shone in the 1st qualifying round of the Champions League, when he scored the leading goal directly from a corner on the field of Dinamo Batumi. However, in the following days, Vladimír Weiss Jr. suffered health complications.
Although he jumped Ferencváros at the end of the rematch of the 2nd qualifying round of the LM against Ferencváros, the calf muscle could not stand it. This was followed by a break of more than a month, during which the 32-year-old attacking captain watched the efforts of his teammates in the competition and on the international stage from a spectator position.
Slovan Bratislava has finally made it to the Conference League group and will be able to use the services of the restored cabin manager. Before leaving for the Whites’ second appearance in the H Group in Pjunka Yerevan, Vladimír Weiss Jr. shared his opinion with the readers of Šport.
Captain VLADIMIR WEISS Jr. he’s back from injury, though he’s not ready for a full gameload yet
How difficult was the past period for you, when you were not available in difficult battles in the European Cup or in the competition due to an injury?
“It’s never easy for a player when he can’t help the team. I couldn’t wait to get back. I firmly believe that injuries will bypass me and I will be available in the near future.”
Are the health problems that kept you from the game a thing of the past?
“Yes. The calf is healed. The pain that was bothering me is completely gone.”
What exactly was bothering you and how did you gradually get back into the training process?
“I had a tear in my calf muscle and tendon. The first weeks I focused more on developing strength than catching up on fitness. Now I can’t speed it up, I have to add the load gradually. I’m not ready yet the whole game.”
Before the six-week break, you last started in the return match against Ferencváros Budapest. Did you personally, like everyone else in the club, suffer from the long-awaited rematch with the Hungarian opponent?
“Yes so much. We played well, but at home we couldn’t come out. I was even more sad because after the game I was sad not only because of the loss, but also because of the injury. But that’s football. Sometimes you’re upstairs, sometimes you’re downstairs.’
injured Vladimír Weiss Jr. during the return leg of the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League between SK Slovan Bratislava and Ferencváros Budapest
Then Slovan’s double match with Olympiakos Piraeus was unsuccessful. The penalty shootout with Zrinjski Mostar, however, already brought a happy solution. How did you experience these exciting European evenings?
“I think Olympiakos and I deserved to continue. We were better at home and away. It was another loss that we very much regretted. At the same time, however, in this doubles match we saw that when we run, fight and play with our hearts, we can torment even such a strong team as Olympiakos.”
Was it necessary for Slovan to advance to the group stage of one of the European cups? Coach Vladimír Weiss Sr., your father, said in the press after the successful rematch with Mostar that if the team couldn’t do it, he probably wouldn’t be around…
“I know Dad very well and I think it would be like he said. I’m glad we made it. I myself cannot imagine ending the season without European football. I think it was crucial not only for him, but for the whole cabin and the club to play in the European Cup. We did it and now we have to fight as a group to stay in the game as long as possible.”
After a long break, was it a big mental boost for you that you jumped into the action for at least a few minutes on Thursday in the match with Žalgiris Vilnius (0:0)?
“Honestly, a big stone fell from my heart. Even if only for a few minutes, mentally I had to jump into the game. A competitive meeting is always about something other than training. But now I have to dose the load in moderation to don’t overdo it. Muscle injuries are always complicated and often recur.’
Slovan had the upper hand in this game and created more chances. Was the goalless draw in the cabin a big disappointment? Did you personally expect to get three points from this game?
“Of course we wanted to win. We were better and had three clear chances that we have to convert. Unfortunately we did not score, but everything is still open. I believe we will win on Thursday and go into the game with Basel with four points.”
What kind of fight do you expect at Pjunka Yerevan?
“Difficult. But we’ll be ready.”
Slovenian coach Vladimír Weiss senior. (right), his pupil and son Vladimír Weiss Jr. hugging after the victory in the match of the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League Ferencváros Budapest – Slovan Bratislava
Is there a chance that you will already appear in the starting lineup?
“We’ll see, I don’t want to get ahead of things. However, I don’t see it before the start of the race. Maybe in Trnava…”
Pjunik lost in the group’s first meeting in Basel (1:3), so he will also want to score points. That means the offensive could also be an interesting fight, don’t you think?
“Of course the home team, just like us, will go for the win. We will see what the game itself will bring.”
In cup Europe Slovan plays better than at home. Why is it so?
“I don’t know myself. Maybe it’s because we feel more responsible for our fans at home. They are doing great this season. I believe they will continue to do so and we will continue to surprise them with our performances.”
You already stated it in one answer: Sunday you also have a football holiday in the competition, because you play on the site of your biggest rival Spartak Trnava. Are you looking forward to it?
“I always look forward to these matches, but first we focus on Thursday. Only then can we switch gears and concentrate on Trnava.”
REPRESENTING AS A SUBSTITUTE
The captain of Slovan Bratislava did not fit into the first appointment of the new coach of the Slovakia national football team, Francesco Calzona. Vladimir Weiss Jr. for the matches with Azerbaijan and Belarus he only appeared as a substitute. We were curious if the Italian coach has communicated with him and explained to him why he is not shortlisted, or if he is counting on him in the future.
“No, no one has communicated with me yet. However, I do not accept nomination. Of course I am still not 100 percent ready after the injury. We will see what the future brings,” the 77-time representative commented on the topic of the national team.