The Spanish Thing Meets Tomer Hemed

Real Mallorca have had a hell of a start to the season and one big reason is the goalscoring form of Tomer Hemed. Our Tim Stannard caught up with the Israeli striker...

Last Updated: 27/09/12 at 14:54

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With his Mallorca team third in la Liga after five games and the footballer himself having scored four goals already - more than Cristiano Ronaldo, for example - Football365 thought it was about time it caught up with Israeli striker Tomer Hemed to discover what's behind the Balearic club's brilliant beginning to the year.


First of all, many congratulations for a fantastic start for you in a new league and a new club...
It's been a very good start for the team and for me personally. Now we need to keep on working hard to keep our position. One thing that's very important here is that there is always a very good atmosphere, the people are very nice, they are like my family. But it's hard work on the pitch and the training ground, we have a very good coach and I think that everyone takes us seriously now.


The Mallorca manager, Joaquín Caparrós, is a famous name in Spain for the work he's done with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao in the past and now his current club. What makes him so special?
He really lives the game. His life is football. He doesn't let us rest for one moment. He's always making us concentrate. He believes that we can win every game. We work very hard in training and this is the most important thing. Every day he arrives like it's his first day in football. He has so much energy. There's so much he wants to teach us. It's so good for us that we have a coach like this. He's making me a better footballer than I was before.


His style and Mallorca's style is for teams to work very, very hard and to be effective up front...
Everyone knows that we must give everything in training and in the game. It doesn't matter if you are an attacker or a defender. We all defend together and we all attack together. This is very important for Caparrós. The first thing he wants from us is effort.


Why did you make the move to Mallorca from Maccabi Haifa?
When I was in Israel, I always dreamed of playing in the two leagues that are the best, the Premier League and la Liga. It was very special for me when the offer came from Mallorca, I was very happy and very proud that I had the chance to play in this league. I'm happy with my choice and now I have to prove myself in every game and in every minute that I play to show what I can do. (The Mallorca goalkeeper) Dudu Aouate has been here for a few years and he told me a lot of good things about the club and has helped with anything I needed and in getting to know all the other players.


Did he tell you that you have to play games at eleven at night, midday...?
He didn't tell me that! But we are professionals and we will play whenever and wherever we have to, whether it's at night or in the morning.


You are famous already in Spain as in your first match against Espanyol you scored on Saturday and on Sunday...
A lot of people talk about this as it was something special as the game started at 11 and I scored in the first half and the second. I might be the first footballer to do this!


Do you watch lots of games in la Liga to get familiar with the other teams?
I like watching football. I like the Spanish League and the Premier League. It's special for me because before I was watching la Liga and wanted to go there and now I am part of it. At first it was difficult as I was far away from home and everything was new for me, but now I feel much more comfortable here.


Do you and your teammates look at Real Madrid and Barcelona and think they look weaker and can be beaten this year?
Not at the moment. They are best teams in the world and maybe they haven't had the best of starts but they have so much quality. We are only looking at ourselves and what we need to do to play well and win points. If we can get to the final games with a chance of getting into Europe, I'm sure we'll do everything we can to get there.


Everyone has been talking about the argument on-the-pitch, last weekend, between Leo Messi and David Villa. As a striker, what's your opinion? Is this normal in football?
Everyone is talking about it, because it's Messi and Villa. Everyone knows in football that this is very normal. You talk to your teammates in every game, sometimes strongly. But you have emotions and we are human so sometimes you can get angry and shout. Afterwards you are friends and you want to team to be successful. I'm sure that Messi and Villa are friends now and it's just part of the game. Sometimes as a striker when you think that you are in a good position and you don't get the ball you are disappointed but this is normal. It can happen in every game with every player.

Tim Stannard

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