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Yordan Osorio: “I would like to be as good as van Dijk”

The Venezuelan defender spoke to us at his first Gazprom Training Camp. 
Yordan Osorio: “I would like to be as good as van Dijk”

You’ve one and a half months of training before the season starts again. Is this your first time in your career you’ve had such a long break?

No, I’ve had long training camps with Zamora and Porto before so I know what it’s like. Now, we need to train and be in the best possible shape so it’s nothing unusual.

Does the points gap in the league give you confidence or can you relax a little?

This is important, but we have to concentrate so that we keep the lead.

How do you rate your first six months at Zenit?

Zenit is a big club and the most important thing for me is the opportunity to prove myself which is why I cam here. I appreciate that and feel positive.

What’s different between the Russian Premier League and the Portuguese championship?

The RPL is a fairly strong and a tough league, but there are some big differences between these leagues. But both are similar in that there are five or six team fighting for the title.

You played five matches in the Champions League and just two domestically. That’s quite an unusual situation.

Yes. I made my Zenit debut in the Champions League which was an interesting experience for me with it being such a strong competition. Of course, I am trying to get in the best shape possible so I can help the team more often.

After your debut in the Champions League, did you become a superstar in Venezuela?

Yes, The Venezuelan media talked a lot about it and I am one of the few Venezuelans who have played in the UCL, so people were proud and I received a lot of messages. 

What’s more popular in Venezuela football, basketball or something else?

In recent years Venezuela has been much more interested in football.

Why didn’t Zenit get through to the next round?

The first half of the final game with Benfica was fine and we played well, but in the second half we lost our concentration and couldn’t do enough. We went out after half-time and were beaten.

Did you manage to forget about that game and relax during the winter break?

It is difficult to forget about it. We now need to look at what is in front of us and the future we have in the league and Russian Cup.

Have people asked you about life in Russia?

Yes, the first question is always “is it really cold there?” And I answer “yes, it’s really cold!” Russia is completely different from Venezuela. 

You should know that it is quite warm in St. Petersburg now by our standards?
The coldest temperature ever in my life has been +5 degrees, and in St. Petersburg I’ve experience -10, that is very cold!

How have you found life in St. Petersburg?

I’ve got used to it gradually. The team and the club have looked after me very well and helped me a lot. In my free time when not training I like to eat in restaurants and like one on Rubinstein most of all. It seems that all the Zenit guys go there. But in general, we rarely go out of the house. I have a little daughter and I am afraid to take her to the cold too much.

Seb Driussi is speaking Russian quite well. Do you know any words?

I can say Yes, Hello and Come on. That's all for now.

Who’s the most difficult Zenit forward to defend against?

Everyone is very difficult, but I’d say Dzyuba, he is powerful and hold the ball up well.

Who is the toughest opponent you’ve played against?

Messi, of course.

Is it possible to emulate Virgil van Dijk and not let anyone get passed you for a whole season?

Naturally, I would like to be as good as van Dijk, he has great positional play and has all the qualities needed for a central defender. I would love to have his ability.