“I wanted to play in Serie A against my idol Mertens, now I dream of Catanzaro”

Jari Vandeputte is one of the most decisive players in Serie B in the last 16 meters but he is not a striker: the Catanzaro offensive winger talks to Fanpage.it about the extraordinary year of the Calabrian club and his football career, from Belgium to Italy.

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Jari Vandeputte He is one of the most decisive footballers in the world. Series B in the last 16 meters but is not an attacker: the attacking end of the catanzaro He has a striker’s number but, in reality, he plays as a winger in the 4-4-2 that Vincenzo Vivarini has studied for his team this year.

In 31 seasonal appearances they are 8 goals and 10 assists for the Belgian winger of the Calabrian club, who has become a true special observer of the rival: whoever faces the Giallorossi cannot fail to have an eye for this player born in 1996, who starts from the left but who with the right foot He knows very well how to aim for the goal or serve teammates who are better placed than him to hit the net.

Vandeputte is a short player, skilled in small spaces and not particularly fast on long runs: a natural right foot and gifted with good individual technique, both in the first control and in handling the ball, but he also knows how to use his left foot. well in all phases of the game.

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In recent years, Jari has proven to be especially skilled at controlling the ball and moving it quickly, both in preparation and in shots towards goal. He is an excellent dead ball shooter and still gave several assists to his teammates.

TO fanpage.it Jari Vandeputte analyzes Catanzaro’s extraordinary year and his football journey, from his beginnings in Belgium to his arrival in Italy.

What season is Catanzaro having? Did you expect to be so high at this point in the championship?
“We were aware of the strength of our team but perhaps we did not expect to be so high. We stayed at 90% of where we were last year and this certainly helped us navigate some steps. “The goal of the season was to save ourselves as soon as possible, but on the first day of training camp I didn’t think we would be in the playoffs consistently.”

8 goals and 10 assists in the season, 7 goals and 9 assists in the championship: Vandeputte’s numbers are those of an attacker, not those of a winger. What is his secret?
“Numbers make me happy and push me to always do better. I am an outsider who really likes to move forward and look for solutions. It’s no secret (laughs, ed.), the work we do with the team during the week helps me find myself in areas of the field where I can hurt the opponent. “The change in shape helped me be fresher in the last 16 meters.”

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You prefer to play on the left than on the right: what are the tasks and functions that a good winger must perform in today’s football?
“Yes, I like it better because I can enter the field with the ball with a strong foot both to pass to my teammates and to kick. I played on the right several times when the coach asked me to, but I express myself better on the left. A winger today must do both phases in the best possible way, help the team in the retreat and be decisive in the final meters.”

He was in Gent, then went to the second series of the Belgian and Dutch championships before arriving in Viterbese: he tells us how his decision to come to Italy came about.
“The loans allowed me to play more, so they helped me, but I was no longer the same player I am now. I was missing something. I was left without a team after three years on loan and that’s how the offer from Italy came. This is how I arrived in Viterbese. My wife is Italian and we had a base of support and ideas about what it could be. I did this two or three day test and then Mr. Bertotto made me sign. He gave me a hand because he has great experience and helped me integrate optimally into an already formed group.”

In Viterbo he was one of the protagonists of the Italian Cup final that denied Monza the joy of victory. What memories do you have of that double confrontation?
“I scored the goal in the first leg and it allowed us to win by the away goals rule. Monza was a battleship and for us it was a historic victory. “I have wonderful memories of that final and that experience.”

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The parenthesis in Vicenza with the promotion to Serie B and the first contact with the cadets: what an experience it was in the red and white club.
“The first year I felt very good and then came the promotion after the suspension due to Covid. The following year the weight of Serie B was felt and the injury I had did not help me. “I have never been at my best level and I have not given my best.”

Then Catanzaro.
“I wanted to play and the director’s call convinced me. “I am happy because the project is very serious and I am still convinced of that choice today.”

A step back to take a step forward, is that right?
“It is true that I took a step back but the value of the project could be seen with the promotion and now with what we are doing.”

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A footballer who inspires him.
“My idol is always Dries Mertens. When I arrived in Italy my goal was to reach Serie A to play against him but now he has gone to Turkey. He is a very strong player, I have followed him since his time at Utrecht and I have always watched him with pleasure.”

Who is someone in your role today that you look at with particular interest?
“In my position I have always watched Ivan Perisic with great interest. A physically strong footballer who knew how to do many things in the final meters, from assists to goals. Another footballer that I really liked during his time at Chelsea was Eden Hazard, in the short term he was one of the best in the world.”

What kind of season finale does Catanzaro expect?
“We work to always do better and now that we are there we want to reach as high as possible. The objective was salvation but now we want to give our opinion in the playoff zone. Anything can happen and we are willing to give our best to place ourselves in the best position in the standings. “Football is beautiful because it is unpredictable, we will try as we always have.”

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