Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sport Bild, 22-year-old Frenchman Mattéo Guendouzi discussed his time at Hertha Berlin, on what playing for Arsenal means for him, his idol and his ambitions.
On if his move to Hertha Berlin was a mistake..
Absolutely not. It was a carefully considered decision. I gave everything for the club and the most important thing is that Hertha stayed in the Bundesliga. I would like to thank everyone in charge, supervisors, teammates and fans of Hertha for their support in the fight to stay up.
On Hertha and Lars Windhorst’s ambitions..
I was immediately convinced of the project. Hertha is a capital club with enormous strength, passionate fans and good players. I wanted to help Hertha achieve international football, unfortunately that didn’t work.
On his future..
My dream has always been to develop myself at the highest level and to win the maximum number of titles. I’m a competitor and greedy for titles. I’m under contract with Arsenal and we have mutual obligations. There is interest from different leagues. Right now, I’m one hundred percent focused on my recovery. In due time, I will decide with my advisors and my father which direction we are headed.
On what Arsenal means for him..
As a kid, I always dreamed of playing for Arsenal and I was lucky to get there early in my career. To see that the club failed to qualify for a European competition for the first time in 25 years hurt me. Arsenal are a big club in Europe that deserve to be in the Champions League every year. I don’t know the reasons for their failure because I wasn’t there last season. But I’m concerned about the club’s situation because Arsenal deserve great things. I’m a Gunner from the bottom of my heart and will remain so, no matter what.
On being France U21 captain..
I love the role of a leader and captain. I love to take responsibility. To get your trust and approval is an honour. Even in my youth I was often a captain. I always wanted to win and to inspire my colleagues. I learned that from an early age.
On his idol..
Mesut Özil is a great role model and a brother to me. I have the deepest respect for what he has achieved and what he has been doing since I’ve been at Arsenal. He has exceptional ball skills. For me, Özil is clearly the best German player and he’s one of the best No. 10s in the history of German football. At Arsenal, he immediately took me under his wing and gave me a lot of tips. That’s why he’s like a big brother to me. Even during my time at Hertha, we were always in contact, often writing to each other or talking on the phone.”
On his dream to win trophies..
At the end of my career, I want to have a resumé full of titles and trophies. That’s why I play football so that I can experience these unique moments like winning the Champions League of the World Cup.